Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng, PHD

Position title: Professor and Co-Director, Polymer Engineering Center


Phone: 608-262-0586

Aligned Research Focus:
Tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery
Li-sheng Turng headshot


More information:

Dr. Turng is also a Research Theme Leader at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID).

Research Description:

My research aims to develop a novel process capable of mass producing complex, truly 3D, biodegradable polymer scaffolds featuring high porosity and interconnectivity as well as desirable mechanical and/or electroactive properties without the use of organic solvents. The idea is to create synergy by capitalizing on (1) mass production and shaping capabilities of microcellular injection molding, (2) co-continuous blending of a biodegradable polymer with a water-soluble polymer for interconnectivity, (3) water-soluble (porogen) particles for high porosity, (4) tunable mechanical properties by incorporating biocompatible fillers, (5) removal of sacrificial materials using particulate leaching techniques, and (6) molded-in micro-channels as the “superhighways” to reduce the leaching time and facilitate diffusion. Proper pore size and interconnectivity in the scaffolds can be controlled by the dimensions of particulates and by the blending morphology of polymers. Biodegradable electroactive polymers in the scaffold will serve as an actuator to foster cell proliferation, assembly, and differentiation, or as a sensor for read-out through electrical and electro-chemical-mechanical stimulation. Supercritical fluids (instead of solvents) will serve as plasticizers and lubricants, thereby imparting moldability to blends containing ultra high filler content and allowing the use of low processing temperatures which are desirable for temperature-sensitive biodegradable polymers and embedded medicines.

Selected References:
  • Wang D, Wang X, Zhang Z, Wang L, Li X, Xu Y, Ren C, Li Q, Turng LS. Programmed Release of Multi-modal, Crosslinked Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Heparin Layers on Electrospun Polycaprolactone Vascular Grafts. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Aug 8. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b10621. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31393107
  • McNulty JD, Marti-Figueroa C, Seipel F, Plantz JZ, Ellingham T, Duddleston LJL, Goris S, Cox BL, Osswald TA, Turng LS, Ashton RS. Micro-injection molded, poly(vinyl alcohol)-calcium salt templates for precise customization of 3D hydrogel internal architecture. Acta Biomater. 2019 Apr 24. pii: S1742-7061(19)30293-4. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.04.050. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:31028908
  • Mi HY, Jiang Y, Jing X, Enriquez E, Li H, Li Q, Turng LS. Fabrication of triple-layered vascular grafts composed of silk fibers, polyacrylamide hydrogel, and polyurethane nanofibers with biomimetic mechanical properties. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2019 May;98:241-249. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2018.12.126. Epub 2018 Dec 29. PMID: 30813024
  • Mi HY, Jing X, Li ZT, Lin YJ, Thomson JA, Turng LS. Fabrication and modification of wavy multicomponent vascular grafts with biomimetic mechanical properties, antithrombogenicity, and enhanced endothelial cell affinity. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2019 Jan 28. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34333. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30689292
  • Mi HY, Jing X, Thomsom JA, Turng LS. Promoting Endothelial Cell Affinity and Antithrombogenicity of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) by Mussel-Inspired Modification and RGD/Heparin Grafting. J Mater Chem B. 2018 Jun 7;6:3475-3485. doi: 10.1039/C8TB00654G. Epub 2018 May 9. PMID: 30455952