AJWJ photo.JPG

Amy J. Wagoner Johnson, PhD

Professor, Mechanical Science & Engineering

Professor and Head, Biomedical & Translational Sciences, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology 

Professor Wagoner Johnson has a diverse and interdisciplinary research program spanning biomaterials for bone regeneration, soft tissue mechanics related to preterm birth, nanoindentation, and scaffold manufacturing.  

Click to go to MechSE for previous positions etc. 

 

WAGONER JOHNSON LAB MEMBERS

Meet the current lab members!

The Wagoner Johnson Lab has a diverse mix of graduate students, post-docs, and undergraduate researchers from with a range of interests including manufacturing, controls, solid mechanics, bioengineering...This makes for a rich intellectual and scientific environment.

file-2 (4)_edited.jpg

MARK A. LEVENSTEIN

Post-Doc
Mechanical Science and Engineering
Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology

Mark is a mechanical engineer and materials scientist with expertise in crystallization and mineralization processes occurring on surfaces and within confined and porous media. He works on our NSF Convergence Research Project: Engineering Coral Reef Recovery, where he is focused on the design, fabrication, characterization, and field implementation of a range of engineered substrates for enhanced coral larvae settlement.

22769903_10214658263556916_3740195887680361370_o.jpg

ASHLEY ARMSTRONG

PhD Candidate
Mechanical Science and Engineering

Ashley's project bridges hands on hardware work with theory development. She covers two main fields: additive manufacturing and control theory, with an application in the fabrication of advanced architecture bone scaffolds.

2017-11-30 11.45.29 temp.png

ZACK BERENT

PhD Candidate
Mechanical Engineering

My project investigates how stem cells become bone cells on protein-covered islands on soft gels. Currently, many researchers will control the geometry with these protein islands to observe small systems (1-10 cells) or will not control geometry to observe large systems (100+ cells). These two systems behave differently, and I am trying to predict, for a given size, will we see the small or large system behavior?

amir_edited.jpg

AMIR OSTADI MOGHADDAM

PhD candidate
Mechanical Engineering

Preterm birth can cause life-long health problems and cost the society millions of dollars. My project is on quantifying the mechanical properties of the tissues that play a role in maintaining pregnancy. I try to understand how different interacting factors lead to preterm birth and develop more reliable methods to evaluate the risk of this condition in pregnant women.

90916339_635579720562744_419551249642291

SOHAILA ABOUTALEB

PhD Candidate

My interests revolve around biomechanics and biomaterials. I am currently working on the bone scaffolds project where I study the effect of the loading of muscles on the bone scaffold. I am also exploring the effect of the scaffold geometry on the bone growth and the capillary suction of blood into the scaffolds. In addition to material characterization techniques, this work uses fundamental solid and fluid mechanics that are also applied in other fields. Not only am I interested in the science behind the work that I do, but also in the impact that my work will have on people with bone injuries that cannot heal on their own.

Arielle personal.jpg

ARIELLE PFEIL

BS, 2021
Mechanical Engineering

I work on a project investigating the properties and processing of a calcium phosphate ink used in 3D printing of bone scaffolds. Through several material characterization techniques, the quality of this ink will be improved for an end goal of personalized implementations, replacing the need for bone grafts.  

   My current interests are in biomechanics with eventual career interests in improving quality of life through medical devices.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/arielle-pfeil-50ba70155

Haley Tholen.JPG

HALEY THOLEN

BS, 2021
Engineering Mechanics

The summer of 2018 I had the wonderful opportunity to do an internship abroad in Curaçao. The main objective of my project is to combine existing coral reef restoration efforts in the Caribbean with additive manufacturing techniques. While in Curacao, I prototyped many different microhabitats using a clay extrusion 3D printer to improve settlement and survival rates of the world's most endangered coral species.  I am extremely interested in the promising future of 3D printing for solving pressing global issues. From the CAD modeling to the actual use of the printed product, I am thrilled to continue exploring the abilities of 3D printing to create innovations in many different applications.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/haley-tholen-120b8414b/ 

White_Coat-1.jpg

VALERIE CHEN

Medical Student
Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Valerie is on the bone scaffolding project, with a focus on imaging. Her interests include bone regeneration, women’s health, and science communication. In her future career she hopes to combine medical technology innovation with patient care.

eliza.png

ELIZA LOVRICH

BS, 2023
Bioengineering

Current Research:
I am working on a project that utilizes biocompatible materials to develop a substrate that can be
used to increase the settlement of coral larvae. After the substrates are manufactured, they will be
characterized using 3D Optical Profilometry, SEM, and Powder XRD.
Interests:
As an avid scuba diver, I have a great appreciation for coral reefs. My ultimate goal is to become
an orthopedic surgeon. To date, I have witnessed over 30 surgeries including a total knee
replacement where an MRI scan of the patient was used to drive an additive manufacturing
process to produce the implant, as well as the patient specific alignment tooling.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eliza-lovrich-65797b194/

Professional.jpg

NELLIE HAUG

BS, Dec 2021
Mechanical Engineering

Current project: Bone Scaffold Project

Interests: 

Currently, I work on the bone scaffold project with several of the other researchers. More specifically, I work alongside Arielle Pfeil on her ink characterization project. Over the course of the last semester, I have been trained on the full ink-making process for use in the lab’s custom 3D bioprinter. Future interests include quantifying the osteointegration of curvilinear scaffold geometry to better understand bone ingrowth in more complex scaffolds, to be mentored by Sohaila Aboutaleb. I have a strong interest in medicine, specifically in vascular and orthopedics specialties.


Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nellie-haug-0a36501a3/

 

RECENT ALUMNI FROM THE
WAGONER JOHNSON LAB

Information current as of Spring 2020

MICHAEL ROGALSKI

BS 2019
Mechanical Engineering

I worked on a project to design, and validate a membrane inflation test. The application is related to preterm birth; I want to understand how the composition and structure of fetal membranes relates to premature membrane rupture, leading to preterm birth. This project has allowed me to further explore my interest in the mechanics of materials, and I hope to apply the knowledge gained from this project in graduate school next year.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michael-rogalski-46bb35121/

LETONG DAI

BS 2021
Civil and Environmental Engineering (now at Cornell)

I worked on the Coral Reef Restoration Project by exploring different combinations of biomaterials and micro-texture for the substrate that will attract the corals larvae, to enhance the coral reef reproduction.

JOHN (JACK) LUND

BS, 2018
Mechanical Engineering with minor in Statistics

MS Student, Stanford University (as of Fall 2018)

I worked on a project investigating the use of materials for coral reef restoration.  In graduate school I want to study biomechanics.  My career interests include the fields of medical and surgical devices, especially those that help mitigate physical disabilities.

JEFF NIE

BS, 2018
Mechanical Engineering with minors in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering

MD Student, Southern Illinois University (as of Fall 2018)

I worked on fabricating scaffolds via powder processing followed by 3D printing.  I optimized the lab’s powder processing, designed and prototyped an end-effector for a new rapid prototyping machine, and operated the robot to fabricate porous 3D scaffolds for bone regeneration.

LAURENCE RUSTOM, PHD

PhD, 2016
Bioengineering

Intellectual Property Consultant for Medical Devices, Global Prior Art, Inc. (Boston, MA)

Laurence investigated the effects of scaffold macro- and micro-structural features on bone regeneration. She fabricated scaffolds for implantation in pig mandibles and used histology to observe differences in bone growth between different scaffold groups. She developed an image processing algorithm to quantify bone regeneration using micro-CT images of the explanted scaffolds. She also conducted cell migration experiments in vitro at the Institut National Polytechnique in Grenoble, France.


Laurence now works as an IP Consultant in Medical Devices in Boston, where she performs patent searches for patentability or patent litigation cases, as well as IP landscape analyses for companies looking to develop their IP strategy in a select niche market. 

MICHAEL POELLMANN, PHD

PhD, 2013
Bioengineering

Senior Scientist, Capio Biosciences and Post-doctoral Associate, University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy

Capio Biosciences is a company working to develop and commercialize ‘liquid biopsy’ devices that diagnose cancer from a blood draw. He is also a  post-doc in Seungpyo Hong's Lab, where he studies polymers and biomimetic materials for cell capture and drug targeting.

For his PhD project, Mike developed several methods to fabricate hydrogels with microscale features to study how elasticity, geometry, and chemistry influence cell behavior.  He also worked on projects to characterize the biomechanics of the cervix during pregnancy and of bone cells during differentiation. 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mpoellmann

SAMANTHA POLAK, MD, PHD

PhD, 2012
Bioengineering

Academic Research Scientist, Abiomed (Danvers, MA)

DAVID HOELZLE, PHD

PhD, 2011
Mechanical Science and Engineering

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University 

My PhD thesis investigated an additive manufacturing process, micro-Robotic Deposition (uRD), and its utility in fabricating advanced architecture synthetic bone grafts. The objective of this research was to develop methods to integrate different regions with different porous microstructures into a single scaffold.  The key contribution of this work is the development of a control algorithm that precisely places different build materials in specified locations, thereby the fabrication of advanced architecture scaffolds is feasible.

SHEENY LAN, PHD

PhD, 2009
Materials Science and Engineering

Pre-Clinical Research Engineer at BTG International/EKOS Corporation (Seattle, WA)

BTG/EKOS is a company that develops and commercializes endovascular devices that utilize ultrasound infusion technologies to treat blood clots in arteries and veins.


For her PhD, Sheeny optimized and evaluated calcium phosphate-based, 3-D tissue engineering scaffolds for bone regeneration and studied the application of endothelial colony forming cells/endothelial progenitor cells for neovascularization of regenerated tissue.

CJ PARK, MD, PHD

PhD, 2008
Materials Science and Engineering
MD, University of Illinois

coming soon

 

GRADUATE ALUMNI 2003-2010

BRAD HERSCHLER
MS , 2010

Mechanical Science and Engineering

THE INFLUENCE OF MICROPOROSITY ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BULK, SCAFFOLD, AND COMPOSITE SCAFFOLD BIPHASIC CALCIUM PHOSPHATE 

JACKIE CORDELL
MS, 2008

Bioengineering

THE INFLUENCE OF MICROPORE SIZE ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BULK HYDROXYAPATITE AND HYDROXYAPATITE SCAFFOLDS 

LUCAS MCINTOSH
MS, 2008

Mechanical Science and Engineering

A MODELING STUDY OF HOW BONE GEOMETRY IMPACTS THE EFFECTIVE

ELASTIC PROPERTIES OF HYDROXYAPATITE BONE IMPLANTS

JOE WOODARD
MS, 2006

Mechanical Science and Engineering

AN IN VIVO STUDY OF THE MECHANICAL BEHAVIOR AND OSTEOCONDUCTIVITY OF POROUS HYDROXYAPATITE BONE SCAFFOLDS 

AMANDA HILLDORE
MS, 2006

Mechanical Science and Engineering

USE OF THE CURVE INTEGRATION METHODTO QUANTIFY HYDROXYAPATITE SCAFFOLDS AND TISSUE IMAGED WITH MICRO-CT 

NILDA JUAN SERRANO
MS, 2003

Materials Science and Engineering

IMAGING THERAPEUTIC PROTEINS IN GELATIN FOR CONTROLLED DRUG RELEASE USING MICROCOMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY

 

1206 W Green Street
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL 61801

©2018 BY WAGONER JOHNSON LAB@ILLINOIS