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Peter X. Ma, Ph.D.

AIMBE Fellow

Professor, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

2211 Dental School, 1011 North University Ave.

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078

Tel: 734-764-2209

Fax: 734-647-2110

Dr. Peter X Ma received his BS in Polymer Chemistry and MS in Polymer Materials from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Rutgers University. He then did his postdoctoral research at MIT and Harvard Medical School on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. In 1996, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan. He is a tenured Full Professor with triple appointments in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences in the School of Dentistry, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering, and in the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Center, also in the College of Engineering.


Research Interests

Professor Ma’s research involves nano-structured materials for biomedical applications, including 1) phase-separation and self-assembly to generate polymeric nanofibrous materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; 2) nanoparticles through the self-assembly of copolymers or emulsion techniques for drug and biomolecule delivery; 3) nanocomposite biomaterials for mineralized tissue engineering.

Selected Honors, Awards and Activities  

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Tsinghua University
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, Tsinghua University
  • Graduate School Excellence Fellow, Rutgers University
  • The NOVARTIS Award (with J.M. Pollok et al.) 1997
  • DuPont Young Professor, 2000
  • Featured as one of five biomedical engineers in the Annual Report of The Whitaker Foundation, 2005
  • Elected to Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2006
  • Changjiang Scholar Honorary Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2008
  • Honorary Professor, Zhejiang University Medical School, Hangzhou, China, 2008
  • Reviewing articles for 56 journals
  • Reviewing grant proposals for NIH, NSF, US Army, NSERC (Canada), Canada Foundation for Innovation, Austrian Science Fund, Swiss NSF, Israel Science Foundation, Wellcome Trust Foundation (UK), Singapore Science & Engineering Council, Singapore National Medical Research Council, Singapore National Research Foundation, Hong Kong UGC, Hong Kong RGC, NSF of China, US Civilian Research & Development Foundation, ACS Petroleum Research Fund, MIT Sea Grant College Program etc.
  • Chaired 26 symposiums and conference sessions
  • Served on 19 symposium and conference organization committees
  • Delivered 137 keynote/invited lectures


Research in Ma group has been supported by NIH (NIDCR, NIGMS and NIDDK), NASA, NSF, Whitaker Foundation, and industry.

  • 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine: Designing 3D microenvironment and artificial extracellular matrices for tissue regeneration.
  • Interactions between stem cells (adult and embryonic stem cells) and biomaterials.
  • Biomimetic Materials: Development of novel synthetic materials inspired by natural materials.
  • Tissue Engineering: Regeneration of 3D functional tissues (bone, cartilage, liver, cardiovascular tissues…); understanding polymer-cell interactions, signal and substrate requirements for cell proliferation, differentiation and tissue regeneration.
  • Controlled Release: Nano/micro-spheres and matrices for the delivery of drugs and biological molecules in a sustained, pulsatile, targeting, or environmentally responsive manner.
  • Phase-separation and Self-assembly: Physical mechanisms and biomedical applications of three-dimensional ordered structure formation, especially at the nanometer scale.
  • Polymeric Biomaterials: Development and structure-property relationship studies of polymer systems of biomedical importance, such as biodegradable polymers, bioactive polymer materials, and mechanically superior polymeric multiphase materials.
  • Nano Biomaterials: Nanofibrous matrix and nanospheres for tissue engineering and controlled release of regulating factors; biomimetic polymer/ceramic nanocomposite materials for mineralized tissue engineering.

Selected Recent Publications

    • K.M. Woo, J.H. Jun, V.J. Chen, J. Seo, J.H. Baek, H.M. Ryoo, G.S. Kim, M.J. Somerman, and P.X. Ma, Nano-fibrous scaffolding promotes osteoblast differentiation and biomineralization, Biomaterials, 28(2): 335-343 (2007).
    • G. Wei, Q. Jin, W.V. Giannobile, P.X. Ma. The enhancement of osteogenesis by nano-fibrous scaffolds incorporating rhBMP-7 nanospheres. Biomaterials, 28(12): 2087-2096 (2007).
    • K.M. Woo, J. Seo, R. Zhang, and P.X. Ma. Suppression of osteoblast apoptosis by enhanced protein adsorption on polymer/hydroxyapatite composite scaffolds, Biomaterials, 28(16): 2622-2630 (2007).
    • S. Hou, L. McCauley, and P.X. Ma. Synthesis and erosion properties of PEG-containing polyanhydrides, Macromolecular Bioscience, 7(5): 620-628 (2007).
    • X. Liu, G.J. Pettway, L.K. McCauley, and P.X. Ma, Pulsatile Release of Parathyroid Hormone from an Implantable Delivery System, Biomaterials, 28(28): 4124-431 (2007).
    • P.X. Ma. Tissue Engineering. In: Herman F. Mark (Editor) Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology: Concise Edition, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp1257-1261 (2007).
    • J. Hu, X. Liu, and P.X. Ma, Biomineralization and Bone Regeneration. In: Anthony Atala, Robert Lanza, James A. Thomson, and Robert M. Nerem (Editors) Principles of Regenerative Medicine. ELSEVIER, pp744-755 (2007).
    • Guobao Wei and Peter X. Ma. Chapter 2. Polymeric Biomaterials. In: Aldo Boccaccini and Julie Gough (Editors) Tissue Engineering Using Ceramics and Polymers, Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge, UK, pp32-51 (2007).
    • Kai Feng and Peter X. Ma. Nanostructured biomaterials for tissue engineering. In: Jeremy Mao, Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Antonios Mikos, Anthony Atala (Editors) Translational Approaches in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Artech House, pp311-324 (2008).
    • P.X. Ma. Polymers and Polymerization, In W.J. O’Brien (editor), Dental Materials and Their Selection, Fourth Edition, Quintessence Publishing Co, Inc. Carol Steam, IL, pp75-90 (2008).
    • X Liu, IO Smith and PX Ma. Biomimetic nanophase materials for tissue engineering, In: Rena Bizios, David A. Puleo (Editors), Biological Interactions on Materials Surfaces: Understanding and Controlling Protein, Cell, and Tissue Responses, Springer, New York, NY, in press (2008).
    • P.X. Ma, Biomimetic Materials for Tissue Engineering, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 60: 184-198 (2008).
    • C.K. Kuo and P.X. Ma. Maintaining dimensions and mechanical properties of ionically crosslinked alginate hydrogel scaffolds in vitro. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A. 84(4): 899-907 (2008).
    • Q Jin, G Wei, Z Lin, JV Sugai, SE Lynch, PX Ma, and WV Giannobile. Nanofibrous Scaffolds Incorporating PDGF-BB Microspheres Induce Chemokine Expression and Tissue Neogenesis in vivo, PLoS ONE 3(3): e1729. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001729 (2008).
    • J Hu, X Liu, and PX Ma. Induction of osteoblast differentiation phenotype on poly(l-lactic acid) nanofibrous matrix. Biomaterials, 29(28): 3815–3821 (2008).
    • LA Smith, Xiaohua Liu and PX Ma. Tissue Engineering with Nano-Fibrous Scaffolds. Soft Matter, Highlight Article. 4, 2144-2149 (2008).
    • G. Wei and PX Ma. Nanostructured Biomaterials for Regeneration, Feature Article, Advanced Functional Materials. Feature Article, 18, 3568-3582 (2008).
    • IO Smith, XH Liu, LA Smith and PX Ma. Nano-structured polymer scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine, 1: 226-236 (2009).
    • IO Smith and PX Ma. Biomimetic Scaffolds in Tissue Engineering, In: N. Pallua (Editor) The Tissue Engineering Book: State of the Art, Visions, and Limitations, Springer, New York, NY, in press (2009).
    • YG Ko and PX Ma. Surface-grafting of phosphates onto a polymer for potential biomimetic functionalization of biomaterials. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 330(1), 77-83 (2009).
    • JX Zhang and PX Ma. Polymeric Core-Shell Assemblies Mediated by Holst-Guest Interactions: Versatile Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery, Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 48(5): 964-968 (2009).
    • LA Smith and PX Ma. Computer-designed nano-fibrous scaffolds, In: Michael Liebschner, Wei Sun (Editors), Computer-Aided Tissue Engineering, Springer, New York, NY, in press (2009).
    • X. Liu, I.O. Smith and P.X. Ma. Biomimetic nanophase materials for tissue engineering, In: Rena Bizios, David A. Puleo (Editors), Biological Interactions on Materials Surfaces: Understanding and Controlling Protein, Cell, and Tissue Responses, Springer, New York, NY, in press (2009).
    • LA Smith, X Liu, P Wang, J Hu and PX Ma. Enhancing Osteogenic Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells by Nanofibers, Tissue Engineering. 15(7): 1855-1864 (2009).
    • LA Smith, X Liu, J Hu, and PX Ma. The Influence of Three Dimensional Nanofibrous Scaffolds on the Osteogenic Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells. Biomaterials. 30(13): 2516-2522 (2009).
    • X Liu, LA Smith, J Hu, and PX Ma. Biomimetic nano-fibrous gelatin/apatite composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Biomaterials. 30(12): 2252–2258 (2009).
    • K.M. Woo, V.J. Chen, H.J. Kim, H.M. Jung, T.I. Kim, H.I. Shin, J.H. Baek, H.M. Ryoo, and PX Ma. Comparative evaluation of nano-fibrous scaffolding for bone regeneration in critical size calvarial defects. Tissue Engineering, in press (2009).
    • P Wang, J Hu, PX Ma. The Engineering of Patient-specific, Anatomically Shaped, Digits, Biomaterials, 30(14): 2735-2740 (2009).
    • X Liu and PX Ma, Phase separation, pore structure, and properties of nanofibrous gelatin scaffolds, Biomaterials, 30(25): 4094-4103 (2009).
    • J Hu, K Feng, X Liu, PX Ma, Chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiations of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on a nanofibrous scaffold with designed pore network, Biomaterials, 30(28): 5061-5067 (2009)
    • G Wei and PX Ma. Partially nanofibrous architecture of 3D tissue engineering scaffolds. Bioaterials. In press (2009).


P.X. Ma and J. Elisseeff. Scaffolding in Tissue Engineering. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2006.



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