Dr Steven Wise

PhD, BSc (Hons I), University Medal
“I love coming to work everyday. Our research is constantly geared towards making a clinical difference, so every experiment brings us closer to that goal.”

Dr Steven Wise is a Bioengineer with almost a decade of experience working in multi-disciplinary research with physicists, biologists and clinicians. His research is focused on developing improved implantable scaffolds and devices, specialising in vascular implants, their blood compatibility and interactions with vascular cells.

Current Appointments

Applied Materials Group Unit Leader

Heart Research Institute

Conjoint Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School

University of Sydney

Honorary Associate, School of Molecular Bioscience

University of Sydney


Acta Biomaterialia; Biofabrication

Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Edition

Atherosclerosis, PLOSOne and Molecule

Professional Memberships

The Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (ASBTE)

 The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)

Dr Steven Wise leads group:
Research covers areas of:
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More about Dr Steven Wise

Research project opportunities
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Developing next generation silk vascular biomaterials

Silk fibroin is a versatile natural polymer with remarkable mechanical properties. Widely used as a suture material, purified silk is extremely well tolerated in the body. The biodegradability of silk can also be controlled during scaffold manufacture, making it a widely used biomaterial. We recently demonstrated that silk can be blended with other natural polymers to generate highly functional tissue replacements. We aim to further develop novel biomaterial platforms that mimic the native vasculature, functionalising silk materials with unique extracellular matrix proteins to control and guide cell interactions. This project is in collaboration with key national and international colleagues: Dr Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina (Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW) and Prof Cay Kielty (University Manchester).

Anti-inflammation biomaterials 

The development of more effective biomaterials for tissue repair aims to minimise the foreign body response by modulating immune cell function. We have identified a vaccine virus protein called 35K as a potential candidate for reducing implant inflammation. 35K has well-characterised anti-inflammatory properties, inhibiting nearly all of the CC Chemokine class. It has been shown to inhibit macrophage recruitment and atherosclerotic plaque formation in rabbits and apolipoprotein E-knockout mice. This project aims to develop novel biomaterials that are broadly applicable to tissue replacement, including in the vasculature. By focusing on the anti-inflammatory properties of 35K, we aim to deliver functionalised materials which are better tolerated in vivo. This project is in collaboration with Dr Christina Bursill (HRI).

A new class of self-assembling nanomaterials 

Realistic in vitro environments are critical to underpin the next generation of biomedical research and drug development. We aim to develop new nanostructured three-dimensional (3D) microenvironments that mimic the biochemical, mechanical and spatial cues that govern cell behaviour in the body. Under appropriate conditions β-peptides self-assemble into fibres that resemble those of the natural extracellular matrix. We will deliver these unique fibrous surfaces to the body by linking them to appropriate materials using plasma activation technology. Ultimately the outcomes will mean new biomedical implants that better integrate into the body; structures that enable efficient expansion of cell populations in vitro and the delivery of the cells into patients for cell therapy. The project is in collaboration with Prof Mibel Aguilar (Monash) and Prof Marcela Bilek (School of Physics, University of Sydney).

Featured Publication
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Liu, H., Wise, S.G., Rnjak-Kovacina, J., Kaplan, D.L., Bilek, M.M.M, Weiss, A.S., Fei, J., and Bao, S. Biocompatibility of silk-tropoelastin protein polymers. Biomaterials, 2014. 35:5138-47

This paper describes an exciting new model to assess the immune response to new materials. Implanting up to 4 new materials in the same lab mouse, we can monitor the body’s inflammatory response using bioluminescent images (see example). A brighter (more yellow/red) response means the material is being rejected. This is a critical tool in the development of new materials for cardiovascular repair. 

Awards for research
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2014     Sydney Medical School Early Career Researcher Overseas Travel Grant 
2013     Australia-China Young Researchers Exchange Program Fellow
2011     RPAH Cardiologist’s Award for the Best Clinical Publication
2010     SuTEN Early Career Researcher Prize
2000     B. Science (Advanced Program, Chemistry), University of Western Sydney
2001     Honours in Inorganic Chemistry (University Medal), University of Western Sydney, ‘The Synthesis and Characterisation of Ruthenium (II) Binuclear Complexes’
2006     PhD. in Biochemistry, University of Sydney, ‘A Mass Spectrometry Approach to Understanding Elastin Assembly’
Wise S.G. and Ng, M.K.C, “Medical Devices with Reduced Thrombogenicity”. US Provisional Patent Application U.S.S.N. 62/049,879. Filed September 12th, 2014.
Ng, M.K.C., Waterhouse A., Weiss, A.S. and Wise S.G., “Chemically and Biologically Modified Medical Devices”. Awarded US Patent no. 12/652926, Original filing 2009. Issued in the United States on August 19, 2014 – US Patent number 8,808,365.  
Ng, M.K.C., Weiss, A.S. and Wise S.G., “Tropoelastin-based Protoelastin Biomaterials”. Awarded US Patent no. 11/864006, Original filing 2007.  Issued in the United States on April 20, 2010 – US Patent number 7,700,126.