The overall mission of the Peña Lab is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration and repair using polymer science, nanotechnology, molecular and cellular biology, and synthetic miRNAs.
The Peña Lab collaborates closely with the Department of Medicine and the Division of Cardiology. Specific collaborators within these departments include the Mestroni/Taylor Laboratory for CU-Cardiovascular Institute and the McKinsey Laboratory in the Consortium for Fibrosis Research & Translation. Additionally, the lab has multiple collaborators in the Department of Bioengineering such as the Park Translational Biomaterials Laboratory, the Shandas Laboratory for Bioinnovation, the Jacot Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, etc. Internationally, the lab has strong connections with the University of Trieste (Italy), the Center for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC biomaGUNE) (Spain) and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) research center under the auspices of the United Nations (Italy).
The projects in our Lab include the use of biomimetic polymers functionalized with nanoparticles for miRNA delivery and tissue engineering as well as the study of biological samples, mainly mechanical properties of cells and tissues, at the nanoscopic level using atomic force microscopy (AFM).
*Figure abbreviations: Human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), carbon nanotubes (CNT), neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVM)