Dr. Skardal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). His research focuses on developing and using customizable biomaterials and biofabrication techniques to create tissue and tumor model systems for drug and toxicology testing, personalized oncology, and to explore biological phenomena such as tumor growth and metastasis. Dr. Skardal received his BSc in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and his PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Utah, focusing on the development of extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived hydrogels for 3D bioprinting. This work yielded several of the very first published papers describing the development of "bioinks" for 3D bioprinting. Dr. Skardal was then a postdoctoral research fellow at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), applying ECM biomaterials technologies for applications in stem cell biology, wound healing, organoids for drug screening, bioprinting, and in vitro tumor modeling. As an assistant professor at WFIRM, Dr. Skardal further developed a toolkit of ECM biomaterials as higher quality cell-supportive bioinks for bioprinting, built multi-tissue type multi-organoid body-on-a-chip systems, and created a tumor organoid/tumor-on-a-chip research program that employ human patient-specific tumor biospecimens to biofabricate personalized tumor models for precision oncology applications. These efforts continue at OSU today.
Dr. Skardal’s research efforts have been supported by awards from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, private industry partners, the Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the Ohio State University.
Our research program focuses on the design and implementation of extracellular matrix-inspired hydrogel biomaterials for the biofabrication of tissue and tumor organoids, organ-on-a-chip systems, and cancer-on-a-chip systems for drug screening, disease modeling, and personalized medicine. Our team’s work has broad applicability across tissue types and diseases but has focused primarily in development of cancer models and recently neural models. Our biomaterial systems are largely hyaluronic acid-based with additional custom ECM component addons, synthetically modified in the lab. These are often combined with microfluidic devices for fluid handling capabilities. In particular, we have a significant interest in patient biospecimen-derived models that can facilitate and improve current precision medicine and precision oncology efforts in the clinic.