Milica Radisic

Milica RadisicProfessor (BME, ChemE)
B.Eng. McMaster University (1999), Ph.D. MIT (2004), Post-doc Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology (2005)

Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering

Principal InvestigatorLaboratory for Functional Tissue Engineering

Room: MB317 | Tel.: 416-946-5295 | Email:

Awards (selected)

2022 Acta Biomaterialia Silver Award

2021 Safwat Zakay Research Leader Award, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto

2020 Senior Member Massey Collage

2020 Killam Fellowship

2019 Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Society-Americas, Innovation & Commercialization Award

2019 Engineering Medal for Research and Development, Ontario Professional Engineers

2018  YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award, Honouring Women in Canada

2018  Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences, Trustees of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund

2018  Fellow Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society

2017 Top 150 alumni, as an outstanding McMaster Engineering Graduate

2017 Dr. E. R. Smith Lectureship in Cardiovascular Research Award,  Libin Cardiovascular Institute, University of Calgary

2017  Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Academy of Science, Applied Sciences and Engineering Division

2016 Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering

2016 Canada Research Chair Tier 2 Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering (renewal)

2015 Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)

2015  Hatch Innovation Award, Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers

2014 Royal Society of Canada, member of The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

2014 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada

2013 University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award (with Axel Guenther, Liang Leng, Arianna McAllister, Andrew Woollard and Boyang Zhang)

2013 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

2012 McLean Award, University of Toronto

2012 Engineers Canada Young Engineer Award

2011 Young Engineer Award; Professional Engineers Ontario, Ontario Society of Professional Engineering

2011 Connaught Innovation Award; University of Toronto

2011 Canada Research Chair Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering (Tier 2)

2011 McMaster Arch Award for work in Bioengineering, McMaster University Alumni Association

2010 NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement

2010 Scientist to Watch; named by the Scientist Magazine

2010 2010’s People to Watch; Toronto Star

2009 Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award; Women in Science and Engineering Club, University of Toronto

2008 MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35 (TR35)

2007 Early Researcher Award; Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario

2003 Cambridge Science Foundation Travel Grant

2002 Poitras Pre-Doctoral Fellowship; awarded for studies in biomedical engineering, MIT

2000 Studenica Foundation Graduate Fellowship

1999 The Presidential Graduate Fellowship; awarded by the Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology for exceptional record and promising future

1999 The Canadian Society of Chemical Industries Merit Award; awarded to Chemical Engineering graduate with the highest cumulative average

1998 The Chancellor’s Gold Medal; the highest University award for undergraduate students, awarded for academic excellence, leadership and influence, McMaster University


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Fellow
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Senior Member
  • Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), Fellow
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Academy of Science, Fellow
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society International (TERMIS), Fellow

Research Interests

The Radisic lab is a dynamic and friendly group of graduate students, post-docs and research associates who are working together to create transformative technologies at the interface of engineering, stem cell biology and chemistry.

Organ-on-a-chip engineering: Our work laid foundations to the field of organ-on-a-chip engineering through technologies such as Biowire, AngioChip and inVADE platform. Microfabrication and 3D printing technologies are at the core of what we do. We are relying on state-of-the art facilities in  to combine hot-embossing and 3D printing to scale-up production of these organ-on-a-chip devices for wide-spread use.  We are developing systems that mimic physiology of the heart, kidney and vasculature for the purpose of modeling human disease and discovering better and more effective drugs.  Learning how to incorporate naturally occurring fractal and chaotic cues into the organ-on-a-chip systems is the next frontier we are tackling. Together with our hospital based colleagues, we are working with patient derived iPSCs to mimic diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy and cardiac fibrosis. We are building glomerulus-on-a-chip and proximal tubule-on-a-chip systems that enable us to study what causes rejection of transplanted kidneys and how to develop new drugs that can remedy this problem. We are infecting our organs-on-a-chip with SARS-CoV-2 in the CL3 facility to learn the mechanisms behind covid19 triggered inflammation, vascular dysfunction and myocarditis.

Bioinspired and electroactive polymers: We synthesize new biodegradable and biocompatible polymers based on small molecules found in the human body, to tailor specific functions, such as immunomodulation, elasticity and conductivity. Through biofabrication, we are advancing scaffold technologies in both cardiac tissue engineering and organs-on-a-chip using these new materials.  Using these approaches we developed technologies such as Injectable Tissue, that enable non-invasive delivery of fully functional tissues into the body through a keyhole and Hook-in-Tissues which enable stacking and instantaneous assembly of fully functional tissues. Most groups 3D print structures from hydrogels, which deform as a result of cell tractional forces, or rigid polymers, which are too stiff for soft tissue applications. We are pioneering 3D printing of designer elastic biopolymers to create versatile granular and metamaterial structures for applications in soft tissue engineering.

Peptide modified materials for regenerative medicine: We are advancing our peptide based biomimetic and immunomodulatory materials for regeneration of tissues such as skin and immune system. We identified a unique peptide from angiopoitin-1 that enables collective cell migration and decreases inflammation in 6 different tissue models. Hydrogels and small molecules based on this peptide are now advancing in dermatological clinical trials for healing of skin after procedures such as laser face resurfacing and microneedling, for surgical wound healing and even to create anti-inflammatory therapies for COVID19.

Selected publications

Lock R, Al Asafen H, Fleischer S, Tamargo M, Zhao Y, Radisic M, Vunjak-Novakovic G: “A framework for developing sex-specific engineered heart models”, Nature Reviews Materials, 1-19, 2021

Vunjak-Novakovic G, Ronaldson-Bouchard K, Radisic M: “Organs-on-a- chip models for biological research”, Cell, 84(18):4597-4611, 2021

Lai BFL, Lu RXZ, Davenport Huyer L, Kakinoki S, Yazbeck J, Wang EY, Wu Q, Zhang B, Radisic M: “A well-plate based multiplexed platform for incorporation of organoids into an organ-on-a-chip system with a perfusable vasculature”,  Nature Protocols, 1-32, March, 2021

Kuzmanov U, Wang EY, Vanderlaan R,  Guo H, Hadipour-Lakmehsari S, Zhao Y, Kim DH, Sharma P, Billia F, Radisic M, Gramolini A, Emili A: “Mapping signalling perturbations in myocardial fibrosis via the integrative phosphoproteomic profiling of tissue from diverse sources”, Nature Biomedical Engineering, 4, 9, 889-900, 2020

Davenport Huyer L, Mandla S, Wang Y, Yee B, Euler C, Lai BF, Bannerman D, Lin D SY, Montgomery M, Nemr K, Bender T, Epelman S, Mahadevan R, Radisic M: “Macrophage immunomodulation through new polymers that recapitulate functional effects of itaconate as a power house of innate immunity” Advanced Functional Materials, 31, 2003341, 2020

Lai BFL, Lu RXZ, Hu Y, Davenport Huyer L, Dou W, Wang EY, Radulovich N, Tsao MS, Sun Y, Radisic M: “Recapitulating pancreatic tumor microenvironment through synergistic use of patient organoids and organ-on-a-chip vasculature” Advanced Functional Materials, 30, 2000545, 2020

Davenport Huyer L, Pascual‐Gil S, Wang Y, Mandla S, Yee B, Radisic M: “Advanced Strategies for Modulation of the Material–Macrophage Interface” Advanced Functional Materials,, 2020

Little M, Liu G-H, Shenoy KV, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Radisic M:  “Engineering Tissues and Organs: The Road to the Clinic” Cell, 181, 22-23, 2020

Xie R, Korolj A, Liu C, Song X,  Lu RXZ, Zhang B, Liang Q, Radisic M:  “h-FIBER: Microfluidic topographical hollow fiber for studies of glomerular filtration barrier” ACS Central Science, 6,6, 903-912, 2020 (cover paper)

Wang EY, Rafatian N, Zhao Y, Lee A, Lai BF, Lu X, Jekic D, Davenport Huyer L; Walden EJ, Bhattacharya S, Backx PH, Radisic M:  “Biowire model of interstitial and focal cardiac fibrosis” ACS  Central Science, 5, 1146-1158, 2019 (cover paper)

Zhao Y, Rafatian N, Feric NT, Aschar-Sobbi R, Zhang B, Wang EY, Conant G, Ronaldson K, Pahnke A, Protze S, Lee JH, Davenport-Huyer L, Jekic D, Keller GM, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Aggarwal P, Broeckel U, Backx PH, Radisic M: “A platform for generation of cardiac tissues with chamber-specific electrophysiological properties” Cell, 176:913-927, 2019

Zhang B, Korolj A, Lai BFL, Radisic M: “Advances in organ-on-a-chip engineering”, Nature Reviews Materials,  3: 257-278, 2018

Zhang B, Lai BFL, Xie R, Davenport-Huyer L, Montgomery M, Radisic M: “Microfabrication of AngioChip”, Nature Protocols, 13:1793-1813, 2018

Williams D, Edelman ER, Radisic M, Laurencin C, Untereker D “Engagement of the Medical Technology Sector with Society”, Science Translational Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, 8(342):342ps13, 2016

Lai BFL, Davenport-Huyer L, Lu RXZ, Drecun  S, Radisic M, Zhang B: “InVADE: Integrated Vasculature for Assessing Dynamic Events”, Advanced Functional Materials, 27:1703524, 2017

Montgomery M, Ahadian S, Lo Rito M,  Reis LA,  Davenport-Huyer L,  Akbari S, Vanderlaan R, Pahnke A, Caldarone CA, Radisic M: “Flexible Shape-memory Scaffold for Minimally Invasive Delivery of Functional Tissues”. Nature Materials, 16:1038-1046, 2017

Takebe T, Zhang B, Radisic M: “ Synergistic engineering: Organoids meet organs-on-a-chip “, Cell Stem Cell, 21:297-300, 2017

Xiao Y, Feric NT, Knee EJ, Gu J, Cao S, Laschinger C, Londono C, McGuigan AP,  Radisic M: “Diabetic wound regeneration using peptide-modified hydrogels targeting the epithelium”,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(40):E5792-E5801, 2016

Zhang B, Montgomery M, Chamberlain MD, Ogawa S, Korolj A, Pahnke A, Wells LA, Massé S, Kim J, Reis L, Momen A, Nunes SS, Wheeler AR, Nanthakumar K, Keller G, Sefton MV, Radisic M: “Biodegradable scaffold with built-in vasculature for organ-on-a-chip engineering and direct surgical anastomosis”, Nature Materials, 15:669-78, 2016

Ogle BM, Bursac N, Domian I, Huang NF, Menasche P, Murry C, Pruitt B, Radisic M, Wu J, Wu S, Zhang J, Zimmermann WH, Vunjak-Novakovic G: “Distilling Complexity to Advance Cardiac Tissue Engineering”, Science Translational Medicine, 8(342):342ps13, 2016

Zhang B, Montgomery M, Davenport-Huyer L, Korolj A, Radisic M.: “Platform technology for scalable assembly of instantaneously functional mosaic tissues.” Science Advances 1(7):e1500423, 2015

Liu H, Wen J, Xiao Y, Liu J, Hopyan S, Radisic M, Simmons CA, Sun Y : “In situ mechanical characterization of the cell nucleus by atomic force microscopy”, ACS Nano,  8:3821-8, 2014

Thavandiran N,  Dubois  D, Mikryukov A, Massé S, Beca B, Simmons CA, Deshpande V, McGarry P,  Chen CS, Nanthakumar K,  Keller G, Radisic M (co-corresponding author),  Zandstra PW: “Design criteria-guided formulation of pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac microtissues”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  110(49):E4698-707. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1311120110 , 2013

Nunes SS, Miklas JW, Xiao Y, Zhang B, Hsieh A, Thavandiran N, Jiang J, Masse S, Ggaliardi M, Laflamme MA, Nanthakumar K, Gross G, Keller G, Radisic M: “Biowire: a platform for maturation of human pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes”, Nature Methods 10:781-787, 2013

Chiu LLY, Montgomery M, Liang Y, Liu H, Radisic M (corresponding author): “Perfusable branching microvessel bed for vascularization of engineered tissues”,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109:E3414-23, 2012

Leng L, McAllister A, Zhang B, Radisic M, Günther A: “Mosaic hydrogels: One-step formation ofmultidimensional, multiscale soft materials”,  Advanced Materials, 24:3650-8, 2012 (cover article)

Song H, Yoon C, Kattaman SJ,  Dengler J, Thavaratnam T, Gewarges M, Masse S,  Nanthakumar K, Rubart M, Keller GM, Radisic M, Zandstra P: “Interrogating functional integration between injected pluripotent stem cell derived-cells and surrogate cardiac tissue”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107:3329-3334, 2010

Tandon N, Cannizzaro C, Chao PH, Maidhof R, Marsano A, Au HT, Radisic M, Vunjak-Novakovic G. “Electrical stimulation systems for cardiac tissue engineering”, Nature Protocols, 4:155-173, 2009

Radisic M, Marsano A, Maidhof R, Wang Y, Vunjak-Novakovic G. “Cardiac tissue engineering using perfusion bioreactor systems” , Nature Protocols, 3:719-38, 2008

Radisic M , Park H, Shin H, Consi T, Schoen FJ, Freed LE, Vunjak-Novakovic G: “Functional assembly  of engineered myocardium by electrical stimulation of cardiac myocytes cultured on scaffolds”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101:18129-18134, Dec 28, 2004 (cover paper)

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