Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Dino Ravnic, DO, MPH

Dino Ravnic, DO, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Division of Plastic Surgery
Scientific Program:Next-Generation Therapies

Research Interests

The Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory at Penn State is directed by Dr. Dino Ravnic and managed by Dr. Srinivas Koduru.

The laboratory's primary research effort is toward the creation of autologous vascularized engineered tissue that is suitable for microsurgical implantation and immediate reperfusion. Composite tissue defects are a common manifestation after tumor resection or traumatic injury. Reconstructive microsurgery involves the transfer of autologous tissue (free-flap) for correction of these injuries. However, flap harvest may not be an option in all individuals and can be associated with significant donor-site morbidity. Tissue engineering is the practice of combining cells, scaffolds and biologically active molecules to create functional tissue. The lab attempts to optimize these factors to craft bioengineered vascularized tissue that is patient-specific.

Adipose tissue has long been thought to be nothing more than an energy reservoir. However, it is rich in mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells which can serve as the cellular starting material for tissue engineering approaches. The lab has been successful in differentiating adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) into multiple cell lines and recombining them in vitro with endothelial cells derived from the same adipose fraction. When cultured in three-dimension (3D) this cellular composition allows for adjacent microvasculature development. Furthermore, the isolation of various proteins and molecules from adipose tissue can be used in scaffold fabrication. The lab believes that the complete "deconstruction" of adipose tissue can provide most of the elements used in tissue "reconstruction."

To achieve its goals, the lab collaborates with experts in materials science for scaffold fabrication, biomedical engineers for 3D bioprinting assembly of cells/scaffolds/proteins and vascular biologists for optimization of microvascular development, integration and function.

This cross-collaborative environment has led to additional projects in tissue repair (e.g. hernia, bone) and the investigation of small RNAs for both clinical implementation and integration into tissue engineering approaches.

  • Microcirculation
  • Bioprinting
  • Colitis
  • Inflammation
  • Colon
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Nanoparticles
  • Electron Scanning Microscopy
  • Intravital Microscopy
  • Microvessels
  • Stem Cells
  • Blood Vessels

Recent Publications


Forghani, A, Koduru, SV, Chen, C, Leberfinger, AN, Ravnic, DJ & Hayes, DJ 2020, 'Differentiation of Adipose Tissue–Derived CD34+/CD31− Cells into Endothelial Cells In Vitro', Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 101-110.
Wu, Y, Ravnic, DJ & Ozbolat, IT 2020, 'Intraoperative Bioprinting: Repairing Tissues and Organs in a Surgical Setting', Trends in Biotechnology, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 594-605.


Leberfinger, AN, Dinda, S, Wu, Y, Koduru, SV, Ozbolat, V, Ravnic, DJ & Ozbolat, IT 2019, 'Bioprinting functional tissues', Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 95, pp. 32-49.
Koduru, SV, Leberfinger, AN, Pasic, D, Forghani, A, Lince, S, Hayes, DJ, Ozbolat, IT & Ravnic, DJ 2019, 'Cellular Based Strategies for Microvascular Engineering', Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 218-240.
Wu, Y, Hospodiuk, M, Peng, W, Gudapati, H, Neuberger, T, Koduru, S, Ravnic, DJ & Ozbolat, IT 2019, 'Porous tissue strands: Avascular building blocks for scalable tissue fabrication', Biofabrication, vol. 11, no. 1, 015009.


Shan, D, Kothapalli, SR, Ravnic, DJ, Gerhard, E, Kim, JP, Guo, J, Ma, C, Guo, J, Gui, L, Sun, L, Lu, D & Yang, J 2018, 'Development of Citrate-Based Dual-Imaging Enabled Biodegradable Electroactive Polymers', Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 28, no. 34, 1801787.
Li, S, Poche, JN, Liu, Y, Scherr, T, McCann, J, Forghani, A, Smoak, M, Muir, M, Berntsen, L, Chen, C, Ravnic, DJ, Gimble, J & Hayes, DJ 2018, 'Hybrid Synthetic-Biological Hydrogel System for Adipose Tissue Regeneration', Macromolecular Bioscience, vol. 18, no. 11, 1800122.
Leberfinger, AN, Mackay, DR & Ravnic, DJ 2018, 'In reply', JAMA Surgery, vol. 153, no. 8, pp. 781-782.
Koduru, SV, Leberfinger, AN, Kawasawa, YI, Mahajan, M, Gusani, NJ, Sanyal, AJ & Ravnic, DJ 2018, 'Non-coding RNAs in Various Stages of Liver Disease Leading to Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Differential Expression of miRNAs, piRNAs, lncRNAs, circRNAs, and sno', Scientific reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 7967.
Leberfinger, AN, Hospodiuk, M, Pena-Francesch, A, Ayan, B, Ozbolat, V, Koduru, SV, Ozbolat, IT, Demirel, MC & Ravnic, DJ 2018, 'Squid ring teeth-coated mesh improves abdominal wall repair', Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open, vol. 6, no. 8, e1881.


Koduru, SV, Tiwari, AK, Leberfinger, A, Hazard, SW, Kawasawa, YI, Mahajan, M & Ravnic, DJ 2017, 'A comprehensive NGS data analysis of differentially regulated miRNAs, piRNAs, lncRNas and sn/snoRNAs in triple negative breast cancer', Journal of Cancer, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 578-596.
Ravnic, DJ, Leberfinger, AN & Ozbolat, IT 2017, 'Bioprinting and Cellular Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes', Trends in Biotechnology, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 1025-1034.
Leberfinger, AN, Behar, BJ, Williams, NC, Rakszawski, KL, Potochny, JD, MacKay, DR & Ravnic, DJ 2017, 'Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma: A systematic review', JAMA Surgery, vol. 152, no. 12, pp. 1161-1168.
Leberfinger, AN, Ravnic, DJ, Dhawan, A & Ozbolat, IT 2017, 'Concise Review: Bioprinting of Stem Cells for Transplantable Tissue Fabrication', Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vol. 6, no. 10, pp. 1940-1948.
Hazard, SW, Zwemer, CF, Mackay, DR, Koduru, SV, Ravnic, DJ & Ehrlich, HP 2017, 'Topical vanadate enhances the repair of median laparotomy incisions', Journal of Surgical Research, vol. 207, pp. 102-107.
Ravnic, DJ, Leberfinger, AN, Koduru, SV, Hospodiuk, M, Moncal, KK, Datta, P, Dey, M, Rizk, E & Ozbolat, IT 2017, 'Transplantation of Bioprinted Tissues and Organs: Technical and Clinical Challenges and Future Perspectives', Annals of surgery, vol. 266, no. 1, pp. 48-58.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)