The NSF Engineering Research Center in Cellular Metamaterials – CELL-MET plans to accomplish four goals with the cellular metamaterials it intends to build: fabricate responsive heart tissue containing muscle cells and blood vessels; understand and control the tissue using optical technologies; scale the process up to easily create multiple copies of the tissue; and personalize the product, so it can be tailored to individual patients.

The Engineering Research Center will be housed at Boston University, the lead institution on the grant. David Bishop, an ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of physics, and head of ENG’s Division of Materials Science & Engineering, will direct the center. Working with him will be four leaders in specific areas—or “thrusts”—of technical expertise: 

3D CELL PATTERNING: Thrust Leader, Stephen Forrest, is a University of Michigan professor of materials science and engineering.

CELL SCAFFOLDS: Thrust Leader, Alice White, is an ENG professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department, and professor of materials science & engineering.

TISSUE ENGINEERING: Thrust Leader, Christopher Chen, is an ENG professor of biomedical engineering and materials science & engineering.

IMAGING: Thrust Leader, Thomas Bifano, an ENG professor of mechanical engineering and materials science & engineering, and director of the Photonics Center.