Dr. Zhang’s research primarily focuses on tissue engineering and biomaterials. With rich research experience in this multidisciplinary field, he has studied various cutting-edge technologies, including protein structure modification, drug targeting delivery via nanoparticulate delivery systems, the formation of biomimetic apatite on scaffolds (3D printed or solvent casting/salt leaching method). These technologies enable the delivery of cells, proteins, and genes (mRNA, siRNA, etc.) to specific targets, promoting the repair and regeneration of both hard and soft tissues. Recently, Dr. Zhang modified NELL-1, a new osteogenic growth factor, by using a protective PEG coating and a bone-specific BP moiety. This modification extended the long-term blood circulation and bone targeting in vivo, transforming a previously locally administered protein into a practical systemic therapeutic agent for the treatment of osteoporosis in mice. With this study, Dr. Zhang was honored at ASBMR as the recipient of the Young Investigator award.
His studies have also focused on developing a new self-renewable antimicrobial material, and exploring novel hydrogel preparation and application techniques in soft tissue regeneration research. In addition, he has conducted research on biomechanics of dental materials such as thermoplastic orthodontic aligners, dental composites, ceramics, and impressions.