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Faculty Profile


The main focus of the Advanced Biomaterials for NeuroEngineering Laboratory (ABNEL) is advancing treatments for persons suffering from debilitating disorders and injuries of the central and peripheral nervous system. Using a combinatorial approach, we seek to create therapeutic strategies for improved nerve guidance channels that incorporate biomaterial manufacturing, biophysical (optogenetics) cues, structural (nanotopography) cues, and/or biochemical (cytokine) stimulation to modulate neuronal and non-neuronal support cell behavior. We are interested in probing the underlying mechanisms of neural growth and regeneration while engineering future modalities for neural tissue engineering applications.

Through tissue engineering of the enteric nervous system, the ‘Brain in the Gut,’ we hope to improve drug discovery platforms and regenerative medicine interventions for the millions of people suffering from disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel diseases. This work will combine primary small intestinal organoid culture with neuro-engineering techniques to recapitulate this complex biological system. Ultimately, we aim to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular responses to engineered systems and their native biological niches towards rationally designed therapies. Our research utilizes techniques from bioengineering, chemical engineering, materials science, and cellular, molecular, and systems biology.


  • B.S. (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007
  • M.S. (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2010
  • PhD (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2013

Research & Scholarship Interests

Bioelectric medicine, development of novel interventions and tissue engineered platforms for nerve regeneration and repair
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • D. Thompson, A. Koppes, J. Hardy, C. Schmidt, Electrical Stimuli in the Central Nervous System Microenvironment, Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering,16, 2014, 397-430
  • A. Koppes, N. Zaccor, C. Rivet, et al., Neurite Outgrowth on Electrospun PLLA Fibers is Enhanced by Exogenous Electrical Stimulation, Journal of Neural Engineering, 11(4), 2014, 046002
  • A.N. Koppes, A.L. Nordberg, G. Paolillo, H. Darwish, et al., Electrical Stimulation of Schwann Cells Promotes Sustained Increases in Neurite Outgrowth, Tissue Engineering A, 20(3-4), 2014, 494-506
  • B. Behan, D. DeWitt, D. Bogdanowicz, A.N. Koppes, et al., Cytotoxicity of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes on Schwann Cells in 2D and 3D Microenvironments towards the Development of an Electrically Conductive Hydrogel for Neural Engineering, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 96(1), 2011, 46-57
  • A.N. Koppes, A.M. Seggio, D.M. Thompson, Neurite Outgrowth is Significantly Increased by the Simultaneous Presentation of Schwann Cells and Moderate Exogenous Electric Fields, Journal of Neural Engineering, 8(4), 2011, 046023
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

September 19, 2016

Eno Ebong, Prof. Abby Koppes, and Prof. Ryan Koppes were selected as three out of the 29 junior faculty members chosen to participate in the Tufts CTSI 2016-2017 Junior Faculty Research Career Development Forum.

September 13, 2016

ChE Associate Professor Rebecca Carrier (PI) and Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes (co-I) were awarded a $5M NIH Bioengineering Research Partnership grant entitled “GuMI: New In Vitro Platforms to Parse the Human Gut Epithelial-Microbiome-Immune Axis.”

March 22, 2016

23 COE faculty and affiliates were recipients of FY17 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 12 different projects representing over $600K dollars of investment in research.