Prof. Kevin Kit PARKER
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Kit Parker researches cardiac cell biology and tissue engineering, traumatic brain injury, and biological applications of micro- and nanotechnologies. Working in both Biomimetic Microsystems and Programmable Nanomaterials, he is involved in projects ranging from developing nanofabrics for applications in tissue regeneration to creating organs-on-chips to address pediatric diseases such as asthma, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, brain injury and congenital heart disease.
In the area of nanomaterials, Kit has been leading an effort to develop protein nanofabrics as a significant step forward in tissue regeneration. Current methods for regenerating tissue typically involve using synthetic polymers to create scaffolding. But this approach can cause negative side effects as the polymers degrade. By contrast, nanofabrics are made from the same proteins as normal tissue, and thus the body can degrade them with no ill effects once they are no longer needed. Initial results have produced strands of heart muscle similar to the papillary muscle, which may lead to new strategies for repair and regeneration throughout the heart.