Mission: Engineering biomaterial models to leverage the regenerative potential of the immune system across health inequities

We execute on our mission by developing compassionate innovators equipped to transform biomedical research.

Find updates on our recent publications in Google Scholar. If you cannot access any of our publications, please email moore.erika[at]ufl.edu and we will provide a copy!


While other immune cells are well characterized in their response to biomaterials, this work was the first to characterize how biomaterials influence B cells following injury! We leveraged muscle injury models in mice and compared natural (ECM) vs. synthetic (PCL) biomaterial responses.

  • Moore, E. Maestas Jr. D. R., Cherry, C. C., et al. Biomaterials direct functional B cell response in a material-specific manner. Science Advances, 7(49), (2021)

PDF: https://www.science.org/doi/epdf/10.1126/sciadv.abj5830


As humans age, the immune system loses functionality which causes complications in response to infection, wound healing, and increased risk of vascular disease. We model the effects of age on macrophage function in the vasculature by encapsulating human macrophages from elderly (>65) or young (<35) donors with vascular cells in our PEG hydrogel system. We currently are evaluating the differences in age, and will also look to evaluate the influence of sex of macrophage donors as well.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a serious autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects women and people of African descent. There are several factors that contribute to the increased risk of SLE in women compared to men, but the mechanisms by which race/ancestry is associated with SLE risk are less well understood. We are characterizing inflammatory properties of immune cells from SLE patients and healthy individuals in order to see whether race/ancestry affects SLE-associated changes.


We are designing 3D polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based hydrogels using ECM-derived peptides to inform cell function via integrin mediation. We aim to control the activation of pro-inflammatory macrophages to prevent chronic inflammation and have designed a biomaterial for the same. Further, we are designing bifunctional biomaterials to promote vessel formation in the macrophage inhibiting hydrogel.

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1557/s43578-021-00423- y.pdf


In partnership with Dr. Josephine Allen, we investigate the influence of microgravity on macrophage function. We leverage microgravity simulators and molecular biology to characterize macrophage cell function as a result of alterations in gravity.

PDF: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-021-00141-z.pdf

PDF: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-021-00141-z.pdf


Erika Moore. "The debt trap." Science, 375 (6582), • DOI: 10.1126/science.ada1184


Ryan, H., Morel, L., and Moore, E. Vascular Inflammation in Mouse Models of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Front. Cardiovasc. Med., (2022). https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2022.767450

Ryan, H., Bister, D., Holliday, S.A. et al. Ancestral Background Is Underreported in Regenerative Engineering. Regen. Eng. Transl. Med. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40883-021-00237-8

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s40883-021-00237-8.pdf

Silberman, J., Jha, A., Ryan, H., Abbate, T., Moore, E. Modeled vascular microenvironments: immune-endothelial cell interactions in vitro. Drug Deliv. and Transl. Res. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-021-00970-1

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s13346-021-00970-1.pdf

Moore, E., Allen, J.B., Mulligan, C.J. et al. Ancestry of cells must be considered in bioengineering. Nat Rev Mater (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-021-00397-7

PDF: www.nature.com/articles/s41578-021-00397-7.pdf?proof=t

Moore, Erika. “The more mentors, the merrier.” Science (New York, NY) 371.6536 (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6536.1398

PDF: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/371/6536/1398.full.pdf


Silberman J, Boehlein J, Abbate T, Moore E: A Biomaterial Model to Assess the Effects of Age in Vascularization. Cells Tissues Organs 2022. doi: 10.1159/000523859. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35249009/

PDF: https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/523859

Ryan H, Morel L and Moore E. Vascular inflammation in mouse models of systemic lupus erythematosus. Front Cardiovasc Med 9:767450 (2022). https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2022.767450

Jha A, Moore E. Collagen-derived peptide, DGEA, inhibits pro-inflammatory macrophages in biofunctional hydrogels. J Mater Res 37, 77–87 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1557/s43578-021-00423-y

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1557/s43578-021-00423-y.pdf

Ludtka C, Moore E, Allen JB. The effects of simulated microgravity on macrophage phenotype. Biomedicines 9(9):1205 (2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9091205 https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9091205

PDF: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-021-00141-z.pdf

Ludtka C, Silberman J, Moore E, et al. Macrophages in microgravity: the impact of space on immune cells. npj Microgravity 7, 13 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41526-021-00141-z

PDF: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-021-00141-z.pdf

Ryan H, Bister D, Holliday SA, et al. Ancestral background is underreported in regenerative engineering. Regen Eng Transl Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40883-021-00237-8

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s40883-021-00237-8.pdf

Moore E, Allen JB, Mulligan CJ, et al. Ancestry of cells must be considered in bioengineering. Nat Rev Mater (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-021-00397-7

PDF: www.nature.com/articles/s41578-021-00397-7.pdf?proof=t

Silberman J, Jha A, Ryan H, Abbate T, Moore E. Modeled vascular microenvironments: immune-endothelial cell interactions in vitro. Drug Deliv and Transl Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-021-00970-1

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s13346-021-00970-1.pdf

Moore E, Maestas Jr. D R, Cherry CC, et al. Biomaterials direct functional B cell response in a material-specific manner. Sci Adv, 7(49) (2021).

PDF: https://www.science.org/doi/epdf/10.1126/sciadv.abj5830

Moore E. The more mentors, the merrier. Science (New York, NY) 371.6536 (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6536.1398

PDF: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/371/6536/1398.full.pdf

Moore EM and West JL. Harnessing macrophages for vascularization in tissue engineering. Ann Biomed Eng 47: 354-365 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-018-02170-4

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10439-018-02170-4.pdf

Moore EM and West JL. Bioactive poly (ethylene glycol) acrylate hydrogels for regenerative engineering. Regen Eng Transl Med (2018): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40883-018-0074-y

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s40883-018-0074-y.pdf

Moore EM, Suresh V, Ying G and West JL. “M0 and M2 macrophages enhance vascularization of tissue engineering scaffolds.” Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine 4, no. 2 (2018): 51-61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40883-018-0048-0

PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s40883-018-0048-0.pdf

Moore EM, Ying G, and West JL. “Macrophages influence vessel formation in 3D bioactive hydrogels.” Advanced Biosystems 1.3 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1002/adbi.201600021

PDF: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/adbi.201600021

Nsiah BA, Moore EM, Roudsari LC, Virdone NK, and West JL. “Angiogenesis in hydrogel biomaterials.” Biosynthetic Polymers for Medical Applications. Woodhead Publishing, 2016. 189-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-1-78242-105-4.00008-0

Peters EB, Christoforou N, Moore E, West JL, and Truskey GA. “CD45+ cells present within mesenchymal stem cell populations affect network formation of blood-derived endothelial outgrowth cells.” BioResearch open access 4, no. 1 (2015): 75-88. https://doi.org/10.1089/biores.2014.0029

PDF: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/biores.2014.0029

Hutton DL, Kondragunta R, Moore EM, et al. Tumor Necrosis Factor Improves Vascularization in Osteogenic Grafts Engineered with Human Adipose-Derived Stem/Stromal Cells. PloS one. 9(9): e107199. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107199
PDF: shorturl.at/anyRX