Jordan Miller's expertise in biomaterials and regenerative medicine combines synthetic chemistry, three-dimensional (3D) printing, microfabrication, and molecular imaging to direct cultured human cells to form more complex organizations of living vessels and tissues.Â
Advances in his lab are being made through 3D-printed scaffolds and structures for diverse biomaterial applications that cross molecular, micro- and meso-length scales. Millerâ€™s engineered microenvironments are used to decouple complex relationships between tissue architecture and cell function, to engineer intricate branching vascular structures and fabricate tissue constructs, and to model disease progression in cancer, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis.
The lab has established unique additive manufacturing processes to fabricate 3D-printed implantable biomaterial structures, such as perfusable lattices, PEG hydrogel stereolithography, extrusion-based bioprinting, and selective laser sintering. Biomaterials work has been forwarded for rapid, low-cost open-source production of silicone microwells to form small multicellular aggregates (fewer than 100 cells per aggregate), and for templating of 3D multiscale vasculature networks, tissues, and organ mimics to replace missing or injured body parts.
To overcome current limitations in the engineering, characterization, and tuning of multiscale angiogenic processes that promote densely populated tissue development, Millerâ€™s 3D-printed systems are rigorously analyzed and refined through computerized models and added computational data in mass transport and therapeutic potentialÂ in vivo.
Millerâ€™s contributions in advanced fabrication have resulted in two U.S. patents. The success of his customized 3D printer led to his being named a Core Developer of theÂ RepRap 3D Printer projectÂ by its maker community. He is the author of three book chapters, his work has been published in 23 leading peer-reviewed journals, and he is a reviewer for several scientific journals. He has been cited over 2,000 times and he has an h-index of 18.
Millerâ€™s research is funded by grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation, John S. Dunn Foundation, the Hamill Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
Miller is founder of Houstonâ€™sÂ Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI), a summer research fellowship and program that supports rising stars in the hardware and software engineering field who want to develop new tools and pursuits of quantitative investigations in advanced manufacturing - tissue engineering, 3D printing, and rapid prototyping.Â
Miller teaches advanced bioengineering courses at Rice in biomaterials synthesis and microcontroller applications. He was awarded the George R. Brown Teaching Award by Rice University (2014).
The lack of sufficient numbers of donor organs for human transplantation therapies results in the loss of tens of thousands of lives and costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the U.S. alone. However, the ability to create,Â de novo, functional organ replacements for treating human pathologies is fundamentally limited by the lack of a comprehensive vascularization strategy for engineered 3D tissues. Miller develops new biomaterials, 3D printing methodologies, and sacrificial casting strategies to enable the rapid fabrication of engineered tissues containing perfusable vascular architectures. Patterned vasculature facilitates capillary sprouting and supports the function of primary parenchymal cells in centimeter-sized constructs. Together these technologies provide a flexible platform for a wide array of specific applications, and may enable the scaling of densely populated tissue constructs to arbitrary size.