Koyal Garg, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
B.E. in Biomedical Instrumentation Engineering, Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore, India
Traumatic extremity injuries frequently involve volumetric muscle loss (VML), a debilitating and irrecoverable muscle injury resulting in loss of limb function. Current therapies do not restore functional muscle tissue, leaving injured patients with life-long disabilities. The primary motive of Dr. Garg’s research is to improve the regenerative and functional capacity of skeletal muscle following trauma. Her research interests include stem/progenitor cells, extracellular matrix-based biomaterials, immunomodulation, and neuromuscular electrical stimulation.
Labs and Facilities
Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering Laboratory: Our primary objective is to develop innovative strategies for the regeneration and rehabilitation of functional muscle tissue in cases of traumatic injuries, with a specific focus on volumetric muscle loss. To achieve this goal, we are pursuing a regenerative approach that involves the use of multifunctional biomaterials that enhance muscle regeneration and function. These biomaterials are composed of chemically cross-linked extracellular matrix proteins and are processed in various forms such as biosponges, hydrogels, micro-particles, or nano-particles, depending on the specific application. These biomaterials not only provide mechanical support but also deliver growth factors, pharmaceuticals, stem cells, and exosomes to targeted areas, suppress immune responses, and act as a substrate for host cell infiltration and proliferation. Furthermore, we are exploring rehabilitative strategies, including neuromuscular electrical stimulation, to improve muscle mass and strength. Ongoing studies are exploring the combined application of regenerative and rehabilitative strategies to maximize their effectiveness.
To learn more about the lab, please visit: https://www.gargklab.com/
Publications and Media Placements
Peer Reviewed Journal Publications
Ziemkiewicz N, Hilliard GM, Dunn AJ, Madsen J, Haas G, Au J, Genovese PC, Chauvin HM, West C, Paoli A, Garg K. Laminin-111-Enriched Fibrin Hydrogels Enhance Functional Muscle Regeneration Following Trauma. Tissue Eng Part A. 2022 Apr;28(7-8):297-311. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2021.0096. Epub 2022 Jan 4. PubMed PMID: 34409846.
Dunn A, Haas G, Madsen J, Ziemkiewicz N, Au J, Johnson D, West C, Chauvin H, Gagyi
SM, Garg K. Biomimetic sponges improve functional muscle recovery following composite
trauma. J Orthop Res. 2022 May;40(5):1039-1052. doi: 10.1002/jor.25143. Epub 2021
Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 34289186; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8776909.
Genovese P, Patel A, Ziemkiewicz N, Paoli A, Bruns J, Case N, Zustiak SP, Garg K. Co-delivery of fibrin-laminin hydrogel with mesenchymal stem cell spheroids supports skeletal muscle regeneration following trauma. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2021 Dec;15(12):1131-1143. doi: 10.1002/term.3243. Epub 2021 Sep 27. PubMed PMID: 34551191; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8648985.
Haas G, Dunn A, Madsen J, Genovese P, Chauvin H, Au J, Ziemkiewicz N, Johnson D, Paoli A, Lin A, Pullen N, Garg K. Biomimetic sponges improve muscle structure and function following volumetric muscle loss. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2021 Nov;109(11):2280-2293. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.37212. Epub 2021 May 7. PubMed PMID: 33960118; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9838030.
Patel KH, Talovic M, Dunn AJ, Patel A, Vendrell S, Schwartz M, Garg K. Aligned nanofibers of decellularized muscle extracellular matrix for volumetric muscle loss. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2020 Aug;108(6):2528-2537. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34584. Epub 2020 Feb 13. PubMed PMID: 32052931.
Ziemkiewicz N, Hilliard G, Pullen NA, Garg K. The Role of Innate and Adaptive Immune Cells in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 23;22(6). doi: 10.3390/ijms22063265. Review. PubMed PMID: 33806895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8005179.
Dunn A, Talovic M, Patel K, Patel A, Marcinczyk M, Garg K. Biomaterial and stem cell-based strategies for skeletal muscle regeneration. J Orthop Res. 2019 Jun;37(6):1246-1262. doi: 10.1002/jor.24212. Epub 2019 Feb 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 30604468.Walters TJ, Garg K, Corona BT (2015), Activity Attenuates Skeletal Muscle Fiber Damage after Ischemia- Reperfusion Injury, Muscle and Nerve, Muscle and Nerve, 52 (4), 640-648.
Garg K, Corona BT, Walters TJ (2015), Therapeutic strategies for preventing skeletal muscle fibrosis after injury, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6 (87).
Garg K, Ward CL, Corona BT (2015), Asynchronous Inflammation and Myogenic Cell Migration Limit Muscle Tissue Regeneration Mediated by Acelluar Scaffolds, Inflammation and Cell Signaling, 1 (6): 530.
Garg K, Ward CL, Hurtgen BJ, Wilken JM, Stinner DJ, Owens J, Wenke JC, Corona BT (2015), Volumetric Muscle Loss: Persistent Functional Deficits Beyond Frank Loss of Tissue, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 33 (1): 40-46.
Aurora A, Garg K, Corona BT, Walters TJ (2014), Physical Rehabilitation Improves Skeletal Muscle Function following Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury in Rats, BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 6(1): 41.
Garg K, Corona BT, Walters TJ (2014), Effect of Losartan Treatment on Muscle Fibrosis and Regeneration after Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury, Journal of Applied Physiology, 117 (10): 1120-31.
Garg K, Ward CL, Rathbone CR, Corona BT (2014), Transplantation of Minced Devitalized Muscle Scaffolds is Insufficient for De Novo Muscle Fiber Regeneration after Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury, Cell and Tissue Research, 358 (3): 857-873.
Corona BT, Garg K, Roe JL, Zhu H, Park KH, Ma J, Walters TJ (2014), The Effect of Recombinant Human MG53 Protein on Tourniquet-Induced Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Rat Muscle, Muscle & Nerve, 49 (6): 919-921.
Corona BT, Garg K, Ward CL, McDaniel JS, Walters TJ, Rathbone CR (2013), Autologous Minced Muscle Grafts: A Tissue Engineering Therapy for the Volumetric Loss of Skeletal Muscle, American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 305 (7): C761-C775.
Garg K, Pullen NA, Oskeritzian CA, Ryan JJ, Bowlin GL (2013), Macrophage Functional Polarization in Response to Varying Fiber Dimensions of Electrospun Scaffolds, Biomaterials, 34 (18): 4439-4451.
McClure MJ, Garg K, Simpson DJ, Ryan JJ, Sell SA, Bowlin GL, Ericksen J (2013), The Influence of Platelet Rich Plasma on Myogenic Differentiation, Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, doi: 10.1002/term.1755.
Madurantakam P, Rodriguez IA, Garg K, McCool JM, Moon PC, Bowlin GL (2012), Compression of Multilayered Composite Electrospun Scaffolds: A Novel Strategy to Rapidly Enhance Mechanical Properties and Three Dimensionality of Bone Scaffolds, Advances in Material Science and Engineering, 561273.
Sell SA, Wolfe PS, Spence AJ, Rodriguez IA, McCool JM, Petrella RL, Garg K, Ericksen JJ, Bowlin GL (2012), A Preliminary Study on The Potential of Manuka Honey and Platelet-Rich Plasma in Wound Healing, International Journal of Biomaterials, 313781.
Garg K, Bowlin GL (2011), Electrospinning Jets and Nanofibrous Structures, Biomicrofluidics, 5(1): 013403. Garg K, Ryan JJ, Bowlin GL (2011), Modulation of Mast Cell Adhesion, Proliferation and Cytokine Secretion on Electrospun Bioresorbable Vascular Grafts, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A. 97(4):405-13.
Sell SA, Wolfe PS, Garg K, McCool JM, Rodriguez IA, Bowlin GL (2010), The Use of Natural Polymers in Tissue Engineering: A Focus on Electrospun Extracellular Matrix Analogues, Polymers, 2 (4): 522-553.
Garg K, Bowlin GL (2010), Creation of Bioresorbable Vascular Prosthetics Using Electrospinning, ACS Polymer Preprints, 51(2): 90.
Garg K, Sell SA, Madurantakam P, Bowlin GL (2009), Angiogenic Potential of Human Macrophages on Electrospun Bioresorbable Vascular Grafts, Biomedical Materials, 4(3): 031001.
Wolfe PS, Madurantakam P, Garg K, Sell SA, Beckman MJ, Bowlin GL (2009), Evaluation of Thrombogenic Potential of Electrospun Bioresorbable Vascular Graft Materials: Acute Monocyte Tissue Factor Expression, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A., 92(4):1321-8.
Sell SA, McClure MJ, Garg K, Wolfe PS, Bowlin GL (2009), Electrospinning of Collagen / Biopolymers for Regenerative Medicine and Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 61(12):1007-19.
Sell SA, Francis MP, Garg K, McClure MJ, Simpson DG, Bowlin GL (2008), Cross-Linking Methods of Electrospun Fibrinogen Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications, Biomedical Materials, 3 (4):045001.
Book Chapter Contributions
McClure MJ, Garg K, RodrigueIA, McCool JM, Bowlin GL (2011), ECM Analogues Obtained by Electrospun Nanofibers, In Electrospinning for Advanced Biomedical Applications and Therapies, iSmithers Rapra Publishing.
Garg K, Sell SA and Bowlin GL (2009), Electrospinning and its Influence on the Structure of Polymeric Nanofibers, In Handbook of Textile Fibre Structure. Woodhead Publishing in Textiles: Number 88
Eichhorn, S.; Hearle, J.W.S.; Jaffe, M. and T. Kikutani, Eds. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK, 958-981. Conference Presentations
Garg K, Dvoretskiy S, Mahmassani Z, Burkin D, Boppart M (2015), Laminin-111Supplementation Suppresses Inflammation and Fibrosis in Response to Mechanical Overload in Aged Skeletal Muscle, Poster Presented at the 4th Annual Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation, Rochester, MN.
Garg K, Ward CL, Hurtgen BJ, Wilken JM, Stinner DJ, Owens J, Wenke JC, Corona BT (2014), Volumetric Muscle Loss: Persistent Functional Deficits Beyond Frank Loss of Tissue, Poster Presentation, Orthopaedic Research Society 60th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
Garg K, Pullen NA, Ryan JJ, Bowlin GL (2012), Macrophage Polarization in Response to Varying Fiber Dimensions of Electrospun Bioresorbable Vascular Grafts, Oral Presentation, 9th World Biomaterials Congress (WBC), Chengdu, China.
Garg K, Pullen NA, Ryan JJ, Bowlin GL (2012), The impact of varying properties of electrospun scaffolds on the phenotype of bone marrow derived murine macrophages, Poster presented at 16th Annual Hilton Head Workshop, Hilton Head Island, SC.
Garg K, Bowlin GL (2010), Nonwoven Bioresorbable Vascular Grafts, 4th International Conference on Technical Textiles and Nonwovens, New Delhi, India.
Garg K, Ryan JJ, Bowlin GL (2010), Modulation of Mast Cell Adhesion, Proliferation and Cytokine Secretion on Electrospun Bioresorbable Vascular Grafts, Poster presented at International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology’s (ISACB) 12th Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA.
Garg K, Francis MP, Sell SA, Moghaddam YM, Madurantakam P, Bowlin GL (2008), Angiogenic Potential of Human Macrophages on Electrospun Scaffolds, Poster presented at 12th Annual Hilton Head Workshop, SC.
Garg K, Sell SA, Smith DC, Madurantakam P, Bowlin GL (2008), Evaluation of Angiogenic Activity in Human Macrophages on Electrospun Vascular Grafts, Poster presented at The Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), San Diego, CA.
Honors and Awards
2022 - Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, Saint Louis University (School of Engineering)
2019 - Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, Saint Louis University (School of Engineering)
2019 - Junior Faculty Grant winner Award, Saint Louis University
2012 - Outstanding Graduate Student, Alex M. Clark Award, Virginia Commonwealth University
2011 - Excellence in Teaching Award, Virginia Commonwealth University