Understanding the biophysical mechanisms underlying regenerative wound healing by defined natural and synthetic biomaterials.

​This project aims to establish a novel snake venom-controlled well-defined 3D fibrin network platform with tuneable and reproducible biophysical properties for regenerative wound healing studies. The biophysical cues of the fibrin networks including architecture, mechanical properties, degradation, and ligand density can be precisely controlled and tuned. 

By utilizing this defined fibrin system with decoupled structural and mechanical properties, we studied and explained how mechanical cues of the 3D fibrin matrix influence in vitro fibroblast differentiation.

The mechanisms underlying architecture-regulated fibroblast differentiation will further develop the current theory on fibroblast differentiation in 3D matrices and provide new biophysical strategies for regulating fibroblast differentiation in order to reduce scar formation during wound healing, which has profound translational significance in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

​Zhao Wang received his Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) and Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) degrees from Nanjing Medical University, China in 2013 and 2016, respectively. He obtained Dentist Qualification Certificate in 2013 and registered as a practitioner. His Master's degree focused on multiple genetics and therapeutics in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) supervised by Prof Yunong Wu. He started his PhD in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland supervised by Prof Alan Rowan, Dr Amanda Kijas, and Dr Jan Lauko.

Key Publications

  1. Wang, Z., Chen, J., Zhang, W., Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Liu, L., ... & Wu, Y. (2016). Axon guidance molecule semaphorin3A is a novel tumor suppressor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget, 7(5), 6048.
  2. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Xiong, X., Zhong, Y., Zhang, W., Dong, Y., ... & Gu, W. (2018). Membrane‐tethered Notch1 exhibits oncogenic property via activation of EGFR–PI3K–AKT pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Journal of cellular physiology.
  3. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Ding, X., Zhang, W., Li, G., Liu, L., ... & Song, X. (2018). A novel Notch1 missense mutation (C1133Y) in the Abruptex domain exhibits enhanced proliferation and invasion in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer cell international, 18(1), 6.
  4. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Ding, X., Dong, Y., Zhang, W., Zhang, W., ... & Song, X. (2018). Combined Erlotinib and PF‐03084014 treatment contributes to synthetic lethality in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cell proliferation, 51(3), e12424.
  5. Yegappan, R., Lauko, J., Wang, Z., Lavin, M. F., Kijas, A. W., Rowan, A. E., Snake Venom Hydrogels as a Rapid Hemostatic Agent for Uncontrolled Bleeding. Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2022, 11, 2200574.