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Dino Ravnic, DO, MPH, MSc

Dino Ravnic, DO, MPH, MSc

Associate 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
  • Stem Cells
  • Colitis
  • Inflammation
  • Colon
  • Technology
  • Nanoparticles
  • Perfusion
  • Electron Scanning Microscopy
  • MicroRNAs
  • Flow Cytometry

Recent Publications


Kang, Y, Yeo, M, Derman, ID, Ravnic, DJ, Singh, YP, Alioglu, MA, Wu, Y, Makkar, J, Driskell, RR & Ozbolat, IT 2024, 'Intraoperative bioprinting of human adipose-derived stem cells and extra-cellular matrix induces hair follicle-like downgrowths and adipose tissue formation during full-thickness craniomaxillofacial skin reconstruction', Bioactive Materials, vol. 33, pp. 114-128.


Ataie, Z, Horchler, S, Jaberi, A, Koduru, SV, El-Mallah, JC, Sun, M, Kheirabadi, S, Kedzierski, A, Risbud, A, Silva, ARAE, Ravnic, DJ & Sheikhi, A 2024, 'Accelerating Patterned Vascularization Using Granular Hydrogel Scaffolds and Surgical Micropuncture', Small, vol. 20, no. 8, 2307928.
Abune, L, Wen, C, Lee, K, Wang, X, Ravnic, D & Wang, Y 2024, 'Elastic Macroporous Matrix-Supported In Situ Formation of Injectable Extracellular Matrix-Like Hydrogel for Carrying Growth Factors and Living Cells', Macromolecular Bioscience, vol. 24, no. 3, 2300475.
Greene, A, Zhang, Y, Asan, O, Clark, JB, Fell, B, Harter, K, Samson, T, Ravnic, D, Cilley, RE, Dillon, P, Mackay, D & Tsai, AY 2023, 'Successful application of the innovation process to a case of Floyd Type I tracheal agenesis', Surgery Open Science, vol. 11, pp. 73-76.
Horchler, SN, Hancock, PC, Sun, M, Liu, AT, Massand, S, El-Mallah, JC, Goldenberg, D, Waldron, O, Landmesser, ME, Agrawal, S, Koduru, SV & Ravnic, DJ 2024, 'Vascular persistence following precision micropuncture', Microcirculation, vol. 31, no. 1, e12835.


McLaughlin, C, Datta, P, Singh, YP, Lo, A, Horchler, S, Elcheva, IA, Ozbolat, IT, Ravnic, DJ & Koduru, SV 2022, 'Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Therapeutic Use and in Bioengineering Applications', Cells, no. 21, 3366.
McLaughlin, C, Hughes, AJ, Parham, CS, Fritsche, M, Potochny, JD, Kunselman, A & Ravnic, DJ 2022, 'Smooth Versus Textured Tissue Expander Breast Reconstruction: Complications and Efficacy', Annals of plastic surgery, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. S288-S292.
Vidt, ME, Heitzenrater, J, Dodge, D, Potochny, J, Widders, K, Paulishak, M, Ravnic, D, Henry, CR, Green, M, Kass, R & Schmitz, KH 2022, 'The role of physical arm function and demographic disparities in breast cancer survivors’ ability to return to work', Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 10301-10310.


Leberfinger, AN, Jones, CM, Mackay, DR, Samson, TD, Henry, CR & Ravnic, DJ 2021, 'Computer-Aided Design and Manufacture of Intraoral Splints: A Potential Role in Cleft Care', Journal of Surgical Research, vol. 261, pp. 173-178.
Li, S, Liu, Y, McCann, J, Ravnic, DJ, Gimble, JM & Hayes, DJ 2022, 'Hybrid adipose graft materials synthesized from chemically modified adipose extracellular matrix', Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A, vol. 110, no. 1, pp. 156-163.
Koduru, SV, Elcheva, IA, Leberfinger, AN & Ravnic, DJ 2021, 'In silico analysis of RNA and small RNA sequencing data from human BM-MSCs and differentiated osteocytes, chondrocytes and tenocytes', Engineered Regeneration, vol. 2, pp. 19-30.
Hancock, PC, Koduru, SV, Sun, M & Ravnic, DJ 2021, 'Induction of scaffold angiogenesis by recipient vasculature precision micropuncture', Microvascular Research, vol. 134, 104121.
Moncal, KK, Gudapati, H, Godzik, KP, Heo, DN, Kang, Y, Rizk, E, Ravnic, DJ, Wee, H, Pepley, DF, Ozbolat, V, Lewis, GS, Moore, JZ, Driskell, RR, Samson, TD & Ozbolat, IT 2021, 'Intra-Operative Bioprinting of Hard, Soft, and Hard/Soft Composite Tissues for Craniomaxillofacial Reconstruction', Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 31, no. 29, 2010858.
Koduru, SV, Leberfinger, AN, Ozbolat, IT & Ravnic, DJ 2021, 'Navigating the Genomic Landscape of Human Adipose Stem Cell-Derived β-Cells', Stem Cells and Development, vol. 30, no. 23, pp. 1153-1170.
Goldenberg, D, McLaughlin, C, Koduru, SV & Ravnic, DJ 2021, 'Regenerative Engineering: Current Applications and Future Perspectives', Frontiers in Surgery, vol. 8, 731031.


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, Ayan, B, Moncal, KK, Kang, Y, Dhawan, A, Koduru, SV, Ravnic, DJ, Kamal, F & Ozbolat, IT 2020, 'Hybrid Bioprinting of Zonally Stratified Human Articular Cartilage Using Scaffold-Free Tissue Strands as Building Blocks', Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 9, no. 22, 2001657.
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.