Jacob Koffler

Neural Engineering Lab

Our lab is interested in applying bioengineering approaches to promote regeneration in the central and peripheral nerve regeneration. We use 3D printing, stem cells, material sciences, and drug delivery to provide guidance and enhance axonal regeneration. In recent years neural stem cell grafts have shown the ability create neuronal relays across spinal cord lesion sites. Our scaffolds enable topographic patterning of regenerating axons in order to guide them into their respective tracts (in the spinal cord) or fascicles (in the peripheral nerve), thus re-aligning them to their respective targets. This is achieved by using linear micro-channels that restrict axonal regeneration to one direction, without the ability to move freely in space (as happens in cellular grafts) or turn back.


Scaffolds with strictly linear internal architecture successfully guide and enhance axonal regeneration into and beyond sites of peripheral nerve injury


1. Pawelec KM*, Koffler J.*, Shahriari D, Galvan A, Tuszynski MH, Sakamoto J. Microstructure and in vivo Characterization of Multi-channel Nerve Guidance Scaffolds. Biomed Mater. 2018 Feb 7. * co-first authors.

2. Shahriari D, Shibayama M, Lynam D, Wolf K, Kubota G, Koffler J., Tuszynski M, Campana W, Sakamoto J. Peripheral Nerve Growth within a Hydrogel Microchannel Scaffold Supported by a Kink-Resistant Conduit. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2017 Aug 14.

3. Shahriari D, Koffler J., Tuszynski MH, Campana WM, Sakamoto JS. Hierarchically Ordered Porous and High-Volume Polycaprolactone Microchannel Scaffolds Enhanced Axon Growth in Transected Spinal Cords. Tissue Eng Part A. 2017 May;23(9-10):415-425.

4. Shahriari D, Koffler J., Lynam DA, Tuszynski MH, Sakamoto JS. Characterizing the degradation of alginate hydrogel for use in multilumen scaffolds for spinal cord repair. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2016 Mar;104(3):611-619.

5. Brock JH, Graham L., Staufenberg E., Collyer E., Koffler J., MH Tuszynski. Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Transplants Fail to Improve Motor Outcomes in a Severe Model of Spinal Cord Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Jun 15;33(12):1103-14.

6. Lynam DA, Shahriari D., Felger KJ, Angart PA, Koffler J., Tuszynski MH, Chan C., Walton P., Sakamoto J. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Release from Layer-by-Layer Coated Agarose Nerve Guidance Scaffolds. 2015 Acta Biomaterialia, Accepted.

7. Shandalov Y.*, Egozi D.*, Koffler J., Dado-Rosenfeld D., Ben-Shimol D., Shor E., Kabala A., Levenberg S., An engineered muscle flap for reconstruction of large soft tissue defects, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2014 April 7.

8. Koffler J., Samara R. Rosenzweig E. Invited chapter: Using Templated Agarose Scaffolds to Promote Axon Regeneration Through Sites of Spinal Cord Injury. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1162:157-65.

9. Kaufman-Francis K, Koffler J., Weinberg N, Dor Y, Levenberg S, Engineered Vascular Beds Provide Key Signals to Pancreatic Hormone-Producing Cells. (2012) PLoS ONE 7(7): e40741

10. Koffler J., Kaufman-Francis K., Shandalov Y., Egozi D., Amiad-Pavlov D., Landesberg A., Levenberg S. Improved vascular organization enhances functional integration of engineered skeletal muscle grafts.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 6;108(36):14789-94

11. Lesman A., Koffler J., Atlas A., Blinder Y., Kam Z., Levenberg S. Engineering Vessel-Like Networks Within Multicellular Fibrin-Based Constructs. Biomaterials.  2011 Nov;32(31):7856-69.

12. Rivkin I., Choen K., Koffler J., Melikhov D., Peer D., Margalit R. Paclitaxel-clusters coated with hyaluronan as selective tumor-targeted nanovectors. Biomaterials 31 (2010) 7106e-7114

Jacob Koffler, Ph.D. MBA
Assistant Project Scientist