Abigail N. Koppes

faculty photoAssistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Office: 313 SN
Phone: 617.373-2989


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


  • Tissue engineering
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Neural Engineering

Research Focus/Background:

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.

Selected Publications:

  • A.N. Koppes, M.J. Oudin, M.A. Miller, P.Y. Baranov, F.B. Gertler, M.J. Young, D.A. Lauffenburger, R.L. Carrier. "Directed Human Retinal Progenitor Cell Migration via High-Throughput Screening of Biomaterials and Chemokines" in preparation for August 2014, Acta Biomaterialia.
  • A.N. Koppes, M. Kamath, C. A. Pfluger, D.D. Burkey, M. Dokmeci, L. Wang, R. L. Carrier. "Complex, Irregular, Multi-scale Topographical Replicas Fabricated via Chemical Vapor Deposition Enhance Epithelial Differentiation" in preparation for June 2014, Journal of Materials Chemistry B (invited).
  • A. N. Koppes, K. Keating, R. Koppes, A. McGregor, D. Thompson. "Electrically Conductive Single Walled Carbon Nanotube – Collagen I Hydrogels for Peripheral Nerve Repair." In submission July 2014, Nano Life.
  • A. N. Koppes, J. G. Hardy, C. E. Schmidt, and D. M. Thompson. "Electrical Stimulation of the CNS Microenvironment." Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Volume 16, Pre-print August 2014.
  • A. N. Koppes, C. Rivet, N. Zaccor, R. Gilbert, And D. Thompson. "Neurite Outgrowth On Electrospun PLLA Fibers Is Enhanced By Exogenous Electrical Stimulation." Journal of Neural Engineering. 11 (2014) 046002.
  • A. N. Koppes, A.L. Nordberg, G. Paolillo, H. Darwish, N. Goodsell, D.M. Thompson. "Electrical Stimulation of Schwann Cells Promotes Sustained Increases in Neurite Outgrowth." doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2013.0012. Tissue Engineering A 2013.
  • A. N. Koppes, A.M. Seggio, and D.M. Thompson. "Neurite Outgrowth is Significantly Increased by the Simultaneous Presentation of Schwann Cells and Moderate Exogenous Electric Fields." Journal of Neural Engineering Vol (8), 046023, 2011 (August 2011 Cover Article)
  • B. Behan, D. DeWitt, D. Bogdanowicz, A. N. Koppes, S. Bale, D. Thompson. "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, 2011:96(1); 46-57.
  • W.H. Fissell, A.G. Dubnisheva, A. N. Eldridge, A.J. Fleischman, A.L. Zydney, and S. Roy, "High-Performance Silicon Nanopore Hemofiltration Membrane." Journal of Membrane Science, 326, 1: 58-63, 2009.
  • W.H. Fissell, S. Manley, A. Dubnisheva, J. Glass, J. Magistrell, A. N. Eldridge, A.J. Fleischman, and S. Roy, Ficoll is not a rigid sphere," American Journal of Physiology, Renal Physiol. 293: F1209-F1213, 2007.