Sidi Bencherif

Sidi Bencherif

Postdoctoral Fellow
Sidi  Bencherif


2005-2009: PhD in Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (Advisors: K. Matyjaszewski and N.R. Washburn) 

2005-2009: MSc in Polymer Science Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

2000-2002: MSc in Materials and Technologies Engineering, Institute of Sciences Engineering, Montpellier II University (France)

1999-2000: MSc in Physics & Chemistry, Montpellier II University (France)

1998-1999: BS in Physics & Chemistry Montpellier II University (France)

1996-1998: Associate of Science Degree in Chemistry, University of Avignon (France)



2009-Present: Harvard University, Department of Bioengineering, Cambridge, MA. Laboratory Director in Edwards’ Lab. Postdoctoral Appointment in Edwards/Mooney Laboratories

2005-2009: Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Chemistry, Pittsburgh, PA. Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant

2002-2005: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Gaithersburg, MD. Guest Researcher in the Polymer Division

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • Society for Biomaterials (SFB)
  • Scientific Research Society (Sigma Xi)

Research Focus

Research Expertise 

  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Polymer Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Material Science and Engineering

Research Interests. My research requires a cross disciplinary approach where aspects of engineering, chemistry, and biology are applied to the fields of tissue engineering, drug delivery, and regenerative medicine. My current work revolves around the following key areas:

** Injectable Hydrogels: A major focus in today’s surgical implantation of 3D scaffolds is the trauma created by physicians while treating patient’s illnesses. One attractive method to reduce the invasiveness of a tissue engineering system is to make scaffold injectable, and thus eliminate the need for, or reduce the size of, any incisions required to implant the material.

** 3-D Scaffolds: Two-dimensional culture has been the paradigm for typical in vitro cell culture; however, it has been demonstrated that cells behave more natively when cultured in three-dimensional (3-D) environments. Permissive, synthetic hydrogels and promoting, natural hydrogels have become popular as 3-D scaffolds for cell culture. In this perspective, we are designing sophisticated and complex bioactive hydrogel scaffolds that provide mechanical support while directing cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, morphology, and gene expression. Our scaffolds are made of synthetic or natural materials that are already FDA-approved for food and biomedical applications. 

** Cell Delivery: Combining mammalian cells with biomaterial scaffolds provides a promising strategy for cellular delivery or transplantation. Scaffold-delivered cells usually display lower apoptosis and higher proliferation than injected cells.  We are investigating cell delivery to several part of the body via a minimally-invasive injectable gel-cell-seeded scaffold. To enhance regeneration, we are investigating an in situ drug delivery strategy to cells that reside within the cell-delivery system.

** Biomaterials to Immunotechnology: Current vaccine and immunotherapy technology faces ongoing challenges in both efficacy and practicality. Dentritic cells recruitement and antigen delivery is one of the major challenges in developing new vaccine technologies. Our approach is based on developing the next generation of vaccine systems by exploiting a biophysical mechanism where a 3-D construct is used to recruit, host, and subsequently activate dendritic cells in order to directly control immune-cell trafficking and activation in the body.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

1. S.A. Bencherif, F. Guillemot, N. Huebsch, D.A. Edwards, D.J. Mooney. Cell-traction mediated configuration of the cell/extracellular-matrix interface plays a key role in stem cell fate. M/S Medecine Sciences 2011, in Press.

2. J.A. Yoon, S.A. Bencherif, T. Kowalewski, K. Matyjaszewski, J.K. Oh. Well- controlled, highly-swelling, rapidly-shrinking thermoresponsive hydrogel scaffolds having a tailored pore structure. Chemistry – An Asian Journal 2011, 6, 128-136.

3. L.T. Sun, S.A. Bencherif, T.W. Gilbert, M.T. Lotze, N.R. Washburn. Design principles for cytokine-neutralizing gels: cross-linking effects. Acta Biomaterialia 2010, 6, 4708-4715.

4. N. Huebsch, P.R. Arany, A.S. Mao, D. Shvartsman, S.A. Bencherif, O.A. Ali, J. Rivera-Feliciano, D.J. Mooney. Harnessing cellular manipulation of the cell-matrix interface to control stem cell fate. Nature Materials 2010, 9, 518-526.

5. L.T. Sun, S.A. Bencherif, T. Gilbert, A.M. Farkas, M.T. Lotze, N.R. Washburn.. Biological activities of cytokine-neutralizing hyaluronic acid- antibody conjugates. Wound Repair & Regeneration 2010, 18, 302-310.

6. J.E. Prata, T.A. Barth, S.A. Bencherif, N.R. Washburn. Complex fluids based on methacrylated hyaluronic acid. Biomacromolecules 2010, 11, 769-775. 

7. S.A. Bencherif, N.R. Washburn, K. Matyjaszewski. Synthesis by AGET ATRP of degradable nanogel-precursors for in situ formation of nanostructured hyaluronic acid hydrogel. Biomacromolecules 2009, 10, 2499-2507.

8. J.K. Oh, S.A. Bencherif, K. Matyjaszewski. Atom transfer radical polymerization in inverse miniemulsion: a versatile route toward preparation and functionalization of microgels/nanogels for targeted drug delivery applications. Polymer 2009, 50, 4407-4423.

9. S.A. Bencherif, D.J. Siegwart, A. Srinivasan, F. Horkay, J.O. Hollinger, N.R. Washburn, K. Matyjaszewski. Nanostructured hybrid hydrogels prepared by a combination of AGET ATRP and FRP. Biomaterials 2009, 30, 5270-5278.

10. S.A. Bencherif, H. Gao, A. Srinivasan, D.J. Siegwart, J.O. Hollinger, N.R. Washburn, K. Matyjaszewski. Cell-adhesive star polymers prepared by ATRP. Biomacromolecules 2009, 10, 1795-1803.

11. S.A Bencherif, A. Srinivasan, J.A. Sheehan, C. Gayathri, L.M. Walker, J.O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski, N.R. Washburn. End-group effects on the properties of PEG-co-PGA hydrogels. Acta Biomaterialia 2009, 5, 1872-1883.

12. S.A. Bencherif, J.A. Sheehan, J.O. Hollinger, L.M. Walker, K. Matyjaszewski, N.R. Washburn. Influence of cross-linker chemistry on release kinetics of PEG- co-PGA hydrogels. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A 2009, 90, 142-153.

13. D.J. Siegwart, A. Srinivasan, S.A. Bencherif, A. Karunanidhi, J.K. Oh, S. Vaidya, R. Jin, J.O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski. Cellular uptake of functional nanogels prepared by inverse miniemulsion ATRP with encapsulated proteins, carbohydrates, and gold nanoparticles. Biomacromolecules 2009, 10, 2300- 2309.

14. S.A Bencherif, A. Srinivasan, F. Horkay, J.O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski, N.R. Washburn. Influence of the degree of methacrylation on hyaluronic acid hydrogels properties. Biomaterials 2008, 29, 1739-1749.

15. D.J. Siegwart, J.K Oh, H. Gao, S.A. Bencherif, F. Perineau, A.K. Bohaty, Jeffrey O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski. Biotin-, pyrene- and GRGDS-functionalized polymers and nanogels via ATRP and end group modification. Macromolecular Chemistry & Physics 2008, 209, 2179-2193.

16. D.J. Siegwart, S. Bencherif, A. Srinivasan, J.O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro cell culture viability of degradable poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-5,6-benzo-2-methylene-1,3-dioxepane)-based polymers and cross-linked gels. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A 2008, 87A, 345-358.

17. N.V. Tsarevsky, S.A. Bencherif, K. Matyjaszewski. Graft copolymers by a combination of ATRP and two different consecutive click reactions. Macromolecules 2007, 40, 4439-4445.

18. H.C.M. Byrd, S.A. Bencherif, B.J. Bauer, et al. Examination of the covalent cationization method using narrow polydisperse polystyrene. Macromolecules 2005, 38, 1564-1572.

19. S. Lin-Gibson, S. Bencherif, J.M. Antonucci, R.L. Jones, F. Horkay. Synthesis and characterization of poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate hydrogels. Macromolecular Symposia 2005, 227, 243-254.

20. N.P. Patel, M.A. Hunt, S. Lin-Gibson, S. Bencherif, R.J. Spontak. Tunable CO2 transport through mixed polyether membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2005, 251, 51-57.

21. S. Lin-Gibson, S. Bencherif, J.A. Cooper, S.J. Wetzel, J.M. Antonucci, B.M. Vogel, F. Horkay, N.R. Washburn. Synthesis and characterization of PEG dimethacrylates and their hydrogels. Biomacromolecules, 2004, 5, 1280-1287.

22. S. Lin-Gibson, S. Bencherif, K.L. Beers, H.C.M. Byrd. MALDI-TOF MS Characterization of covalentaly-cationized polystyrene. Macromolecules 2003, 36, 4669-4671.

Conference Publications  

23. N.R. Washburn, L.T. Sun, S.A. Bencherif. Cytokine-neutralizing gels for local control of inflammation. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2010. 

24. J.A. Yoon, J.K. Oh, S.A. Bencherif, T. Kowalewski, K. Matyjaszewski. Preparation of porous hydrogels by ATRP in the presence of star-branched polymers. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2009.

25. N.R. Washburn, J.E. Prata, T.A. Barth, S.A. Bencherif. Complex fluids based on methacrylated hyaluronic acid. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2009.

26. S.A. Bencherif, A. Srinivasan, A. Jiang, J. O. Hollinger, K. Matyjaszewski, N.R. Washburn. Bioresorbable hyaluronic acid hydrogels for tissue engineering applications. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2008, 49, 576-577.

27. S.A. Bencherif, D.J. Siegwart, A. Srinivasan, J.O. Hollinger, N.R. Washburn, K. Matyjaszewski. Nanostructured hybrid hydrogels for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2008, 49, 203-204.

28. D.J. Siegwart, J.K. Oh, S. Bencherif, A. Bohaty, K. Matyjaszewski. Synthesis and functionalization of hydroxy-terminated biocompatible polymers and nanogels with pyrene, biotin, and peptide sequences. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2008, 49, 306-307.

29. S.A. Bencherif, J.A. Sheehan, A. Srinivasan, L.M. Walker, N.R. Washburn. Synthesis of highly methacrylated hyaluronic acid hydrogels for bone tissue engineering. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2006, 47, 188-189.

30. S.A. Bencherif, J.A. Sheehan, L.M. Walker, J.O. Hollinger, N.R. Washburn. Influence of cross-linker on hydrogel properties for DNA delivery applications. ACS Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering 2006, 95, 4439-4445.

31. N.R. Washburn, S. Steve; S. Penn, S.A. Bencherif. Polymeric protecting groups for peptide and aptamer therapeutics. ACS Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering 2006, 95 1007-1008.

32. J.M. Antonucci, S. Bencherif, K.S Wilson, E.A. Wilder, D. Liu. Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of methacrylate derivatives of oligo-ether carbonate diols. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2005, 46, 1076-1077.

33. N.R.Washburn, S. Bencherif. Synthesis and characterization of bioactive peptide-polymer conjugates. ACS Polymer Chemistry 2005, 46, 1307.

34. S. Lin-Gibson, S. Bencherif, J.A. Cooper, N.R. Washburn, J.M. Antonucci. Synthesis and Characterization of PEG and PEG Urethane Dimethacrylate Hydrogels. ACS Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering 2004, 90, 251- 252.

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