Image: Schematic illustration detailing the fabrication process for generating patterned graphene–PEG devices

Assistant Professor Deok-Ho Kim has been featured in the 2017 Emerging Investigators Issue of Chemical Communications, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. This special issue, now in its seventh year, showcases the high quality research being carried out by international researchers in the early stages of their independent careers.

In their paper selected for the journal, Micro- and nano-patterned conductive graphene-PEG hybrid scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering, Dr. Kim and colleagues report on their efforts to advance approaches to engineer the cardiac microenvironment for in vitro drug screening, disease modeling and cell-based regenerative therapies. They aimed to address the challenges posed by conventional cell culture platforms in creating physiologically relevant models of functional cardiac tissue. The researchers discuss a method for producing cardiac tissue scaffolds with anisotropic electroconductive properties by transferring graphene films onto micro- and nano-patterned PEG substrates. They demonstrate that tissues grown on the graphene-PEG scaffolds show enhanced structural and functional properties.

Dr. Kim’s research explores biomimetic approaches to studying structure-function relationships in living tissues, and aims to develop multiscale regenerative technologies for improving human health. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, referenced conference proceedings, book chapters and patent applications, and given over 100 national and international invited lectures.