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Sam DePalma

PhD Candidate
Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

samdep (at) umich (dot) edu


Hometown: Southbury, Connecticut

Education: BS in Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 2018

Research interests: My previous research has focused on synthesizing novel biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and biosensing. Expanding upon these experiences, I am currently interested in developing fibrous synthetic biomaterial systems to study how extracellular matrix properties influence tissue development and functionality. By controlling matrix mechanics, I aim to examine how cardiomyocytes interact with their environment to create complex functioning cardiac tissues. Overall, this research will help to guide efforts within regenerative medicine to repair damaged and diseased heart muscle.

Outside of lab interests: Outside the lab, you can usually find me running around Ann Arbor training for my next marathon. I also enjoy trying new restaurants, going to local bars/breweries with friends, and watching sports – including Michigan football.


Kent III RN, Said M, Busch ME, Poupard ER, Tsai A, Xia J, Matera DL, Wang WY, DePalma SJ, Hiraki HL, Killian ML, Abraham AC, Shin JW, Huang AH, Shikanov A, Baker BM. "Physical and Soluble Cues Enhance Tendon Progenitor Cell Invasion into Injectable Synthetic Hydrogels," Advanced Functional Materials, 2022, doi: 10.1002/adfm.202207556

Tsan YC, DePalma SJ, Zhao YT, Capilnasiu A, Wu YW, Elder B, Panse I, Ufford K, Matera DL, Friedline S, O’Leary TS, Wubshet N, Ho KKY, Previs MJ, Nordsletten D, Isom LL, Baker BM, Liu AP, Helms AS. "Physiologic biomechanics enhance reproducible contractile development in a stem cell derived cardiac muscle platform," Nature Communications, 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26496-1

Horowitz JA, Zhong X, DePalma SJ, Ward Rashidi MR, Baker BM, Lahann J, Forrest SR. "Printable Organic Electronic Materials for Precisely Positioned Cell Attachment," Langmuir, 2021, doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c03319

Hiraki HL, Matera DL, Rose MJ, Kent RN, Todd CW, Stout ME, Wank AE, Schiavone MC, DePalma SJ, Zarouk AA, Baker BM. "Magnetic Alignment of Electrospun Fiber Segments within a Hydrogel Composite Guides Cell Spreading and Migration Phenotype Switching" Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2021, doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.679165

DePalma SJ, Davidson CD, Stis AE, Helms AS, Baker BM. "Microenvironmental determinants of organized iPSC-cardiomyocyte tissues on synthetic fibrous matrices," Biomaterials Science, 2021, doi: 10.1039/D0BM01247E

Davidson CD, Jayco DKP, Matera DL, DePalma SJ, Hiraki HL, Wang WY, Baker BM. "Myofibroblast activation in synthetic fibrous matrices composed of dextran vinyl sulfone," Acta Biomaterialia, 2020, doi:10.1013/j.actbio.2020.01.009.

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