Grant Deadline
September 10, 2021- Check the OCASCR website for more information.


Click here to listen to the TSET Podcast highlighting the work of OCASCR.

Spotlight on OCASCR Scientist

Michael Detamore, Ph.D.
Founding Director of Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering
Stephenson Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering

1. What is your lab’s long-term/big-picture research goal?
In the Translational Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, we strive to translate therapies to the clinic to regenerate tissues that are unable to heal on their own, for example, injured cartilage or spinal cords. I have 12 issued U.S. patents so far and have co-founded an Oklahoma company that just received NIH small business grant funding to help bring a craniofacial bone paste to the market.
2. What is your training/scientific background?
My Bachelor’s degree is in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and my Ph.D. is in Bioengineering from Rice University. I was fortunate to train in biomaterials as a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Ireland-Galway. Prior to arriving in Oklahoma, I enjoyed 12 years as a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Kansas, where I was a founding Advisory Board member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. I have spent the past 5 years as a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. 
3. What is the goal of your OCASCR project?
The goal of our OCASCR project is to enhance biomaterials for cartilage repair so that the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells will respond favorably to the biomaterial when placed into a cartilage injury site and turn into cartilage-like cells that regenerate healthy new cartilage tissue.
4. How might your research impact diseases related to obesity or smoking?
Obesity is linked to arthritis, which may require next-generation biomaterials capable of helping the body’s own cells to regenerate the injured cartilage.
5. What’s your most critical piece of research equipment in your lab? Why?
I really like our 3D printer and bioprinters, but I might choose our rheometer. A rheometer quantifies the paste-like consistency of a biomaterial that we use for regenerative therapies, kind of like assigning a number to how thick a material like toothpaste or peanut butter would be compared to a runny liquid like honey or water. That paste-like performance of the material is crucial for surgical placement, and is the secret behind successful bioprinting too, which my team explained in 2019 in Progress in Polymer Science.
6. What’s your favorite scientific meeting to attend? Why?
I would say the American Society of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Surgeons for many reasons. I started attending as a graduate student in 2003, and over nearly two decades my wife and I have forged close friendships with many of the surgeons. I have learned so much from my surgeon colleagues about the limitations of current technologies to help TMJ patients, and that understanding has helped me to invent new technologies to fill those gaps. I was honored to write an article with many of them about 5 years ago in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery that helped to identify the types of TMJ patients who might benefit from regenerative medicine technology, and the idea to write that article came directly from one of the conversations at an ASTMJS meeting. The work we are doing with the OCASCR project could absolutely be applied to help these TMJ patients.
7. Tell us about what you do when you aren’t working?
I am a big fan of live music and have crossed oceans to see my favorite bands play. During the pandemic, I have missed live music, and am really looking forward to going to concerts again! There is a real connection between music and science with the creative process, and with providing a therapy that helps others and improves their quality of life.
Core Facilities
Check out the updated list of equipment that is available to all scientists in Oklahoma.
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