Brian Amsden

Professor, Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering & Department Head

Tel: (613) 533-3093
Fax: (613) 533-6637
Office: BioSci 4632 & Dupuis Hall Room 201A
Reseach Site: ABiL

Research Interests

Our research focus is on the creation of effective biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for biomedical applications. These applications include localized growth factor delivery for therapeutic angiogenesis and for stem cell differentiation, scaffolds for soft connective tissue engineering, and ocular drug delivery. Polymer systems being developed include biodegradable elastomers,electrospun crimped fibre scaffolds, injectable thermoplastics, and mechanically enhanced hydrogels. We are interested in elucidating the mechanisms of degradation of the polymers in vivo to better design these materials for given applications, determining the mechanisms governing drug release, the role polymer biomaterial mechanical properties play in mediating cell proliferation and differentiation, and in controlling polymer surface properties to improve cellular interactions. The work is multidisciplinary and we collaborate routinely with orthopaedic and cardiovascular surgeons, and colleagues in mechanical engineering and cell biology.


Our polymer lab is located within the Biosciences Complex and currently has a Waters HPLC (UV-VIS, fluorescence) and GPC system complete with a Precision Detectors light-scattering detector, a Mettler-Toledo differential scanning calorimeter,a Biolin Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation, and an Instron tensile tester. Our cell culture and microscopy facilities are located in the Human Mobility Research Centre, where we presently have an Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, a Nicolet ATR-FTIR microscope, and a Zeiss fluorescence microscope. Frequent use is made of the NMR and MS facilities in the Department of Chemistry, and a rheometer and dynamic mechanical analyzer within the Polymer Group Analytical Facility.

Last updated October 22, 2012.

Journal Publications

H.K. Cheung, T. Han, D.M. Marecak, J.F. Watkins, and L.E. Flynn, "Composite hydrogel scaffolds incorporating decellularized adipose tissue for soft tissue engineering with adipose-derived stem cells," Biomaterials 35, 1914-1923, 2014 [More information].

JWS Hayami, SD Waldman, BG Amsden, "Injectable, high modulus and fatigue resistant, composite scaffold for load-bearing soft tissue regeneration," Biomacromolecules 14, 4236-4247, 2013 [More information].

I.O. Babasola, M. Rooney, BG Amsden, "Co-release of bioactive VEGF and HGF from liquid injectable poly(5-ethylene ketal ε-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide)," Molecular Pharmaceutics 10, 4552-4559, 2013 [More information].

MC Vyner, L Liu, HD Sheardown, and BG Amsden, "Elastomer crosslink density affects protein adsorption," Biomaterials 34, 9287-9284, 2013 [More information].

O.I. Babasola, BG Amsden, "Osmotically driven protein release from liquid injectable polymers based on 5-ethylene ketal ε-caprolactone: potential and mechanism," Eur J Pharm Biopharm 85, 765-772, 2013 [More information].

C. Yu, S. Young, V. Russo, B.G. Amsden, and L.E. Flynn, "Techniques for the isolation of high quality RNA from cells encapsulated in chitosan hydrogels," Tissue Engineering C 19, 11, 829-838, 2013.

L.A. Cornacchionne, B. Qi, J.Bianco, Z. Zhou, B.G. Amsden, "Photo-cross-linked poly(ethylene carbonate) elastomers: synthesis, in vivo degradation, and determination of in vivo degradation mechanism," Biomacromolecules 13, 10, 3099-3107, 2012 [More information].

D.C. Surrao, S.D. Waldman, and B.G. Amsden, "Biomimetic poly(lactide)-based fibrous scaffolds for ligament tissue engineering,"Acta Biomaterialia 8, 11, 3997-4006, 2012 [More information].

A. Sukarto, C. Yu, LE Flynn, B.G. Amsden, "Co-delivery of adipose-derived stem cells and growth factor-loaded microspheres in RGD-grafted N-methacrylate glycol chitosan gels for focal chondral repair," Biomacromolecules 13, 2490-2502, 2012 [More information].

O.I. Babasola, J. Bianco, and BG Amsden, "In vivo degradation and tissue response to poly(5-ethylene ketal e-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide)”," Biomacromolecules 13, 2211-2217, 2012 [More information].

D.C. Surrao, J.Y.C. Fan, S.D. Waldman, and B.G. Amsden, "A crimp-like microarchitecture improves tissue production in fibrous ligament scaffolds in response to mechanical stimuli," Acta Biomaterialia 8, 10, 3704-3713, 2012 [More information].

A. Sukarto, BG. Amsden, "Low melting point amphiphilic microspheres for delivery of bone morphogenetic protein-6 and transforming growth factor β-3 in a hydrogel matrix," J Controlled Release 158, 23-62, 2012 [More information].

R. Chapanian, MY Tse, SC Pang, and BG Amsden, "Osmotic release of bioactive VEGF from biodegradable elastomer monoliths is the same in vivo as in vitro," J Pharm Sci 101, 588-597, 2012 [More information].

O.I. Babasola, BG Amsden, "Surface eroding, liquid injectable polymers based on 5-ethylene ketal ε-caprolactone,"Biomacromolecules 12, 10, 3423-3431, 2011 [More information].

JWS Hayami, SD Waldman, BG Amsden, "A photocurable hydrogel-elastomer composite scaffold with bi-continuous morphology for cell encapsulation," Macromolecular Bioscience 12, 1672-83, 2011 [More information].

DC Surrao, AA. Khan, AJ. McGregor, JCY Fan, B.G. Amsden, SD Waldman, "Can Microcarrier Expanded Chondrocytes Synthesize Functional Tissue In Vitro," Tissue Engineering A 17, 1959-67, 2011.

AJ McGregor, BG Amsden, SD Waldman, "Chondrocyte repopulation of the zone of death induced by osteochondral harvest,"Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 19, 2, 242-248, 2011.

R. Chapanian, M.Y. Tse, S.C. Pang, and B.G. Amsden, "Long term in vivo degradation and tissue response to photo-cross-linked elastomers prepared from star-shaped prepolymers of poly(ε-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide)," J Biomed Mater Res A 92A, 830-842, 2010.

B. Ilagan and B.G. Amsden, "Macroporous photocrosslinked elastomer scaffolds containing microporosity: preparation and in vitro degradation properties," J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 93A, 211-218, 2010.

J. Hayami, D. Surrao, S.D. Waldman, and B.G. Amsden, "Composite scaffold for ligament tissue engineering," J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 92A, 1407-1420, 2010.

R. Chapanian and B.G. Amsden, "Osmotically driven protein release from photo-cross-linked elastomers of poly(trimethylene carbonate) and poly(trimethylene carbonate-co-D,L-lactide)," Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 74, 172-183, 2010.

R. Chapanian and B.G. Amsden, "Combined and sequential delivery of bioactive VEGF165 and HGF from poly(trimethylene carbonate) based photo-cross-linked elastomers," J. Controlled Release 143, 53-63, 2010.

B. Amsden and B. Qi, "Anti-atherosclerotic peptide delivery from a photocrosslinkable biodegradable network," Int. J. Pharmaceutics 388, 32-39, 2010.

L. Timbart, MY Tse, SC Pang, and BG Amsden, "Tissue response to, and degradation rate of, photocrosslinked trimethylene carbonate-based elastomers following intramuscular implantation," Materials: Special Issue Advances in Biomaterials 3, 2, 1156-1171, 2010.

B. Amsden, "Liquid, injectable, hydrophobic and biodegradable polymers as drug delivery vehicles," Macromolecular Bioscience10, 8, 825-835, 2010.

A.Hsieh, T Zahir, Y Lapitsky, B. Amsden, W. Wan, MS Shoichet, "Hydrogel/Electrospun Fiber Composites Influence Neural Stem/Progenitor Cell Fate," Soft Matter 6, 10, 2227-2237, 2010.

BG Amsden, L. Timbart, D. Marecak, M.Y. Tse, SC Pang, "VEGF –induced angiogenesis following localized delivery from injectable low viscosity poly(trimethylene carbonate)," J Controlled Release 145, 109-115, 2010.

DC Surrao, JWS Hayami, SD Waldman, BG Amsden, "Self Crimping Electrospun Polymer Fibres," Biomacromolecules 11, 3624-3629, 2010.

L. Timbart, M.Y. Tse, S.C. Pang, O. Babasola, B.G. Amsden, "Low viscosity poly(trimethylene carbonate) for localized drug delivery: rheological properties and in vivo degradation," Macromolecular Bioscience 9, 786-794, 2009.

B. Ilagan and B.G. Amsden, "Surface modifications of photocrosslinked biodegradable elastomers and their influence on smooth muscle cell adhesion and proliferation," Acta Biomaterialia 5, 7, 2429-2440, 2009.

R. Chapanian, M.Y. Tse, S.C. Pang, and B. Amsden, "Role of oxidation and enzymatic action in the in vivo degradation of trimethylene carbonate based photocrosslinkable elastomers," Biomaterials 30, 3, 295-306, 2009 [More information].

L. Timbart and B.G. Amsden, "Functionalizable biodegradable photocrosslinkable elastomers based on 2-oxepane-1,5-dione," J Polym Sci A Polym Chem 46, 24, 8191-8199, 2008 [More information].

B.G. Amsden and A. Lau, "Siloxane based copolymers for use in two-phase partitioning bioreactors," Can J Chem Eng 86, 1-5, 2008 [More information].

B. Amsden, G.P. Misra, M. Marshall, ND Turner, "Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable networks providing saturated-solution prolonged delivery," J Pharm Sci 97, 849-862, 2008 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Drug delivery from biodegradable elastomers," Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery 5, 175-187, 2008 [More information].

V. Wang, G Misra, and B. Amsden, "Immobilization of a bone and cartilage stimulating peptide to a synthetic bone graft," J Mater Sci Mater Med 19, 2145-2155, 2008 [More information].

D.K. Knight, S. Shapka, and B. Amsden, "Structure, depolymerization, and cytocompatibility evaluation of glycol chitosan," J Biomed Mater Res A 83A, 787-798, 2007 [More information].

B. Amsden, A. Sukarto, D.K. Knight, and S.N. Shapka, "Methacrylated glycol chitosan as a photopolymerizable biomaterial,"Biomacromolecules 8, 12, 3758-3766, 2007 [More information].

F. Gu, R. Neufeld, and B. Amsden, "Stabilization of bioactive VEGF and potentially other therapeutic proteins during a photo-initiated free radical cross-linking reaction forming biodegradable elastomers," Eur J Pharm Biopharm 66, 21-27, 2007 [More information].

S. Sharifpoor and B. Amsden, "In vitro release of a water-soluble agent from low viscosity biodegradable, injectable oligomers,"Eur J Pharm Biopharm 65, 336-345, 2007 [More information].

F. Gu, RJ Neufeld, B. Amsden, "Sustained release of bioactive therapeutic proteins from a cylindrical biodegradable elastomeric device," J Control Release 117, 80-89, 2007 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Review of osmotic pressure driven release of proteins from monolithic devices," J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci 10, 2, 100-114, 2007 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Curable elastomers: Emerging biomaterialsfor drug delivery and tissue engineering ," Soft Matter 3, 11, 1335-1348, 2007 [More information].

A. Mikhail, S. Sharifpoor, and B. Amsden, "Initiator structure influence on thermal and rheological properties of oligo(e-caprolactone)," J. Biomater. Sci. Polym Edn 17, 291-301, 2006 [More information].

F. Gu, RJ Neufeld, and BG Amsden, "Osmotic driven release kinetics of bioactive therapeutic proteins from a biodegradable elastomer are linear, constant, similar and adjustable," Pharm Res 23, 4, 782-789, 2006 [More information].

Y. Zhang and B. Amsden, "Diffusion of vitamin B12 and proteins in semidilute alginate solutions under physiological conditions,"Macromolecules 39, 1073-1078, 2006 [More information].

B. Amsden, M. Y. Tse, N.D. Turner, D.K. Knight, and S.C. Pang, "In vivo degradation behavior of photo-cross-linked star-poly(e-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide) elastomers," Biomacromolecules 7, 365-372, 2006 [More information].

A. Tomkins, M. Kontopoulou, and B. Amsden, "Preparation and characterization of blends of star-poly(e-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide) and oligo(e-caprolactone)," J. Biomater. Sci. Polym. Edn. 16, 1009-1021, 2005 [More information].

F. Gu, H.M. Younes, A.O.S. El-Kadi, R. Neufeld, B. Amsden, "Sustained interferon-y delivery from a photocrosslinked biodegradable elastomer," J. Control. Release 102, 607-617, 2005 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, G. Misra and F. Gu, "Synthesis and characterization of a photo-crosslinked biodegradable elastomer,"Biomacromolecules 5, 6, 2479-2486, 2004 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, B.G. Stubbe, F. Horkay, S.C. De Smedt, and J. Demeester, "Modeling the swelling pressure of degrading DEX-HEMA hydrogels," J. Polym. Sci. B. Polym. Phys. 42, 3397-3404, 2004 [More information].

B. Amsden, S. Wang, and U. Wyss, "Synthesis and characterization of thermoset biodegradable elastomers based on star-poly(e-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide)," Biomacromolecules 5, 4, 1399-1404, 2004 [More information].

F. Gu, B. Amsden, R.J. Neufeld, "Sustained delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor using alginate beads," J. Control. Release 96, 463-472, 2004 [More information].

A. Hatefi, D. Knight, and B. Amsden, "A biodegradable injectable thermoplastic for localized camptothecin delivery," J. Pharm. Sci.93, 1195-1204, 2004 [More information].

H.M. Younes, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, and B. Amsden, "Synthesis, characterization and in vitro degradation of a biodegradable elastomer," Biomaterials 25, 5261-5269, 2004 [More information].

B. Amsden, A. Hatefi, D. Knight, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, "Development of injectable biodegradable thermoplastic oligomers,"Biomacromolecules 5, 637-642, 2004 [More information].

B. Amsden, "A model for osmotic pressure driven release from cylindrical rubbery polymer matrices," J. Control. Release 93, 249-258, 2003 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, J. Bochanysz, and A.J. Daugulis, "Degradation of xenobiotics in a partitioning bioreactor in which the partitioning phase is a polymer," Biotechnol. Bioeng. 84, 399-405, 2003 [More information].

A.J. Daugulis, B.G. Amsden, J. Bochanysz, and A. Kayssi, "Delivery of benzene to Alcaligenes xylosoxidans by solid polymers in a two-phase partitioning bioreactor," Biotech. Letters 25, 1203-1207, 2003 [More information].

Barbara G. Stubbe, Ferenc Horkay, Brian Amsden, Wim E. Hennink, Stefaan C. De Smedt, and Jo Demeester, "Tailoring the swelling pressure of degrading dextran hydroxyethyl methacrylate hydrogels," Biomacromolecules 4, 691-695, 2003 [More information].

A. Hatefi and B. Amsden, "Camptothecin delivery systems," Pharm. Res. 19, 10, 1387-1397, 2002 [More information].

A. Hatefi and B. Amsden, "Biodegradable injectable in-situ forming drug delivery systems," J. Control. Release 80, 9-28, 2002 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Modeling solute probe diffusion in polymer solutions," Polymer 43, 5, 1623-1630, 2002 [More information].

H.M. Younes, and B. Amsden, "Interferon-g therapy: Evaluation of routes of administration and delivery systems," J. Pharm. Sci. 91, 1, 2-17, 2002 [More information].

B. Amsden, K. Grotheer, and D. Angl, "Influence of polymer Ionization degree on solute diffusion in polyelectrolyte gels,"Macromolecules 35, 3179-3183, 2002 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Diffusion in polyelectrolyte hydrogels: Application of an obstruction-scaling model to solute diffusion in calcium alginate," Macromolecules 34, 1430-1435, 2001 [More information].

B. Amsden, "Constant release from a swollen polyelectrolyte gel," Proceed. Int'l.Symp. Controlled Release of Bioactive Materials, Paris, France 750-751, 2000.

B. Amsden and N. Turner, "Diffusion characteristics of calcium alginate gels," Biotech. Bioeng 65, 605-610, 1999 [More information].

B. Amsden, "The production of uniformly sized polymer microspheres," Pharm. Res. 16, 1140-1143, 1999 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, "An obstruction-scaling model for diffusion in homogeneous hydrogels," Macromolecules 32, 874-879, 1999 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, "Diffusion within hydrogels. Mechanisms and models," Macromolecules 31, 23, 8382-8395, 1998 [More information].

B.G. Amsden, "Solute diffusion in hydrogels. An examination of the retardation effect," Polymer Gels and Networks 6, 1, 13-43, 1998.

B.G. Amsden and M.F.A. Goosen, "An examination of factors affecting the size, distribution, and release characteristics of polymer microbeads made using electrostatics," J. Control. Release 43, 183-196, 1997.

B.G. Amsden, "Osmotically activated protein release from electrostatically generated polymer microbeads," AIChE Journal 42, 3253-3266, 1996.

A.O. Okhamafe, B. Amsden, W. Chu, and M. Goosen, "Modulation of protein release from chitosan-alginate microcapsules using a pH-sensitive polymer," J. Microencapsulation 13, 497-508, 1996.

B. G. Amsden and M.F.A. Goosen, "Transdermal delivery of peptide and protein drugs: An overview," AIChE Journal 41, 1833-2012, 1995.

B. Amsden and Y. Cheng, "Generic peptide delivery systems based on osmotically rupturable monoliths," J. Control. Release 33, 99-105, 1995.

B.G. Amsden, Y. Cheng, and M. Goosen, "A mechanistic study of the release of osmotically active agents from elastomeric monoliths," J. Controlled Release 30, 21-32, 1994.

B.G. Amsden and Y. Cheng, "Enhanced fraction releasable above percolation threshold from monoliths containing osmotic excipients," J. Control. Release 31, 45-56, 1994.

Polk, B. Amsden, F. DeYao, T. Peng, and M. Goosen, "Chitosan-alginate microcapsules for oral protein drug delivery," J. Pharmaceutical Sciences 84, 178-185, 1994.

D. Poncelet, B. Bugarski, B. Amsden, J. Zhu, R. Neufeld, and M.F.A. Goosen, "A parallel plate electrostatic droplet generator: parameters affecting microbead size," Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 41, 1994.

Bugarski, B. Amsden, R.J. Neufeld, D. Poncelet, and M.F.A. Goosen, "Effect of electrode geometry and charge on the production of polymer microbeads by electrostatics," Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 72, 517-521, 1994.

X. Zhang, U.P. Wyss, D. Pichora, B. Amsden, and M. Goosen, "Controlled release of albumin from biodegradable poly(DL-lactide) cylinders," J. Control. Release 25, 61-69, 1993.

L. Timbart and B.G. Amsden, "Functionalizable biodegradable photocrosslinkable elastomers based on 2-oxepane-1,5-dione," J Polym Sci A Polym Chem 46, 24, 8191-8199.

S. Sharifpoor and B. Amsden, "Release of a water-soluble agent from low viscosity biodegradable, injectable oligomers is driven by osmotic pressure," Eur J Pharm Biopharm 65, 2007, 336�345, [More information].


B.G. Amsden, "Biodegradable Elastomer and Method of Preparing Same," US patent 6,984,393, 2006.

W.L. Hunter, and B.G. Amsden, "Composition and methods of Paclitaxel for treating psoriasis," US patent 6,515,016, 2003.

B.G. Amsden, R. Liggins, "Methods for Microsphere Production," U.S. Patent 6,224,794 B1, 2001.

B.G. Amsden and Y. Cheng, "Polymer-Based Drug Delivery System," U.S. Patent No. 5,626,877, 1997.

B.G. Amsden and Y. Cheng, "Polymer-Based Drug Delivery System," U.S. Patent No. 5,302,397, 1994.


Fellow Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 2016

Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering, 2016

Ontario Centres of Excellence Mind to Market Award, 2006

Queen's University Chancellor's Research Award, 2005

Province of Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, 2003

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Independent Establishment Grant Award, 1998

NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Network Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario
CBTP CREATE Biointerfaces Training Program
Ministry of Research and Innovation


CHEE 452: Transport Phenomena in Physiological Systems

This course is an introduction to the area of mass, momentum and heat transfer processes in physiological systems. In this course the student will appreciate the role of transport phenomena in the function of organs and organ systems in the body, and develop the skills necessary to analyze models of biological transport processes in the context of the design of biomedical devices. (0/0/0/42/0)

CHEE 872: Polymer Biomaterials

This is an advanced biomaterials course focusing on polymers used in biomedical applications. Topics covered include composition-property relationships of polymers, the host implantation response, controlled release mechanisms, biodegradation of polymers, and cell-polymer interactions.