Jorge A. Uquillas

Research profile

Jorge has a deep understanding of basic medical sciences, biochemistry, cell & molecular biology, regenerative medicine, and engineering. He is passionate about translating novel medical discoveries in orthopedics, trauma, and neurology to the clinic. For example, over the past 5 years, his team at the EPICS research group at Purdue University has been developing a fully automated CPR device to be used in emergency scenarios in low-income countries. Additionally, he led the regenerative medicine laboratory at Axxis Hospital in Ecuador and held professorship positions in cell/molecular biology, medical biochemistry, biomaterials, and tissue engineering at several universities in Ecuador. He is also very interested in entrepreneurship and medical device innovation. In the past few years, he has spearheaded efforts in Ecuador to organize medical hackathons alongside MIT Hacking Medicine, which are events that put together medical personnel, engineers, software developers, and business people to work on diverse medical problems. He holds a Ph.D. in Orthopaedics Bioengineering from Purdue University and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Koch Institute at MIT. His research interests include a) vascularization strategies in tissue-engineered hydrogels, b) regeneration, control of knee arthrosis using growth factors, cells, and drug delivery strategies, and c) mechanotransduction and mechanoinduction of stem cells via natural surfaces. 

Each year, one percent of active individuals rupture their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This results in direct instability of the knee joint, postural disturbance, and altered gait. In the Netherlands, 9000 annual ACL reconstructions are performed. Depending on the extend of the rupture and due to its low vascular supply, the ACL cannot heal itself. Despite the vast quantity of clinical options for ACL reconstruction (ACLR) (autografts, allografts, and bioengineered strategies), surgery is the most viable treatment for complete ACL tears. Patellar, semitendinosus and gracilis tendon autografts are the gold standard for ACLR. However, tendons autografts do not have the same compositional, structural, and mechanical properties as a native ACL and often result in re-rupture, knee instability, and an early onset of osteoarthritis. In this challenge, we aim to generate a DT strategy to predict what will be the best graft option for the patient before the surgery. 

A continous exchange of information is necessary between the physical knee and its digital representation. 

Selected publications

Uquillas, J.A., Spierings, J., van der Lande, A., Eren, A.D., Bertrand, M., Yuan, H., Yuan, H., van Groningen, B., Janssen, R., Ito, K. and de Boer, J., 2022. An off-the-shelf decellularized and sterilized human bone-ACL-bone allograft for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 135, p.105452. Link 

Vermeulen, S., Honig, F., Vasilevich, A., Roumans, N., Romero, M., Dede Eren, A., Tuvshindorj, U., Alexander, M., Carlier, A., Williams, P. and Uquillas, J., 2021. Expanding biomaterial surface topographical design space through natural surface reproduction. Advanced Materials, 33(31), p.2102084. Link 

Annabi, N., Tamayol, A., Uquillas, J.A., Akbari, M., Bertassoni, L.E., Cha, C., Camci‐Unal, G., Dokmeci, M.R., Peppas, N.A. and Khademhosseini, A., 2014. 25th anniversary article: Rational design and applications of hydrogels in regenerative medicine. Advanced materials, 26(1), pp.85-124. Link  

Uquillas, J.A., Kishore, V. and Akkus, O., 2012. Genipin crosslinking elevates the strength of electrochemically aligned collagen to the level of tendons. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 15, pp.176-189. Link 

Contact information

+31 40 247 2245

Gemini Noord 4.18