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Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2014.

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, body-on-a-chip for enteric-gut interactions
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • D. Ventre, M. Puzan, E. Ashbolt, A.N. Koppes, Enhanced Total Neurite Outgrowth and Secondary Branching in Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons Elicited by Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound, Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(4), 2018, 046013
  • J.R. Soucy, E. Shirzaei Sani, R.P. Lara, D. Diaz, F. Dias, A.S. Weiss, A.N. Koppes, R.A. Koppes, N. Annabi, Photocrosslinkable Gelatin/Tropoelastin Hydrogel Adhesives for Peripheral Nerve Repair, Tissue Engineering Part A, 2018
  • M. Puzan, S. Hosic, C. Ghio, A.N. Koppes, Enteric Nervous System Regulation of Intestinal Stem Cell Differentiation and Epithelial Monolayer Function, Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2018, 6313
  • M.L. Puzan, B. Legesse, R.A. Koppes, H. Fenniri, A.N. Koppes, Bioactive Organic Rosette Nanotubes Support Sensory Neurite Outgrowth, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 4(5), 2018, 1630-1640
  • A.R. Spencer, A. Primbetova, A.N. Koppes, R.A. Koppes, H. Fenniri, N. Annabi, Electroconductive Gelatin Methacryloyl-PEDOT: PSS Composite Hydrogels: Design, Synthesis, and Properties, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 4(5), 2018, 1558-1567
  • A.N. Koppes, M. Kamath, C. Pfluger, D. Burkey, M.R. Dokmeci, L. Wang, R.L. Carrier, Complex, Multi-Scale Small Intestinal Topography Replicated in Cellular Growth Substrates Fabricated via Chemical Vapor Deposition of Parylene C, Biofabrication, 8, 2016, 035011
  • A.N. Koppes, K.W. Keating, A.L. McGregor, R.A. Koppes, et al., Robust Neurite Extension Following Exogenous Electrical Stimulation within Single Walled Carbon Nanotube-Composite Hydrogels, Acta Biomaterialia, 39, 2016, 34-43
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

April 1, 2019

Minhal Ahmed, a fifth-year bioengineering student, was named the winner of the Harold D. Hodgkinson Achievement Award for 2019, one of the highest honors a senior can receive.

January 3, 2019

ChE Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes was featured in the Forbes article " Gut Health and Functional Foods Top Charts of 2019 Food Trends "...

November 27, 2018

The AIChE Women's Initiative Committee (WIC) hosted a full day symposium of female speakers at AIChE 2018 to highlight the significant contributions of women to the chemical engineering field, including ChE Assistant Professor Abby Koppes who presented on "Engineered Models of the Gut-Brain Axis".

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