Bingkun K. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Neurology. Dr. Chen graduated with an M.D. in China, further studied in Germany, and received his Ph.D. in Japan. Chen is focused on spinal cord injury and regeneration. By using tissue-engineered technology with biodegradable polymer scaffolds loaded with growth-promoting cells to bridge the transection, the long-term goal is to shift the balance in the injured spinal cord toward healing and functional recovery in patients. Dr. Chen's research is focused on systematical manipulation of the microenvironment in the injured spinal cord using engineering techniques to modify the local environment for axonal regeneration by altering: 1) Microarchitecture of biodegradable polymer scaffolds; 2) Cellular environment for cells supporting central nervous system axon growth; 3) Molecular environment, including neurotrophic factors, and anti-scarring agents incorporated into biodegradable polymers.
Microarchitecture of biodegradable polymer scaffolds
Cellular environment for cells supporting central nervous system axon growth (neural stem cells and Schwann cells)
Molecular environment, including neurotrophic factors such as glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT3), and the like, and anti-scarring agents (rapamycin) incorporated into biodegradable polymers