NEWS | Jan. 14, 2016

Dr. Bradley Ringeisen Honored as Defense Department's 'Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter'

By Daniel Parry

Dr. Bradley Ringeisen, head of the Bioenergy and Biofabrication Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is awarded the prestigious Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter award for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. The award honors Ringeisen for extraordinary service to the Department of Defense (DoD) for his distinguished accomplishments in the development and expansion of the applications of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting using the Navy's patented biological laser printer, or BioLP.

Dr. Ringeisen's ingenuity and scientific insight have resulted in numerous breakthroughs that demonstrate biofabrication and tissue engineering capabilities critical to advancing Navy science and technology interest, said Dr. John Montgomery, Director of Research at NRL. The future goals of this program are to facilitate delivery of complex organs and anatomical structures that retain heterogeneity and functionality across the scale of human tissue.

Ringeisen is an internationally recognized leader and pioneer of live cell and organ printing. As a direct result of his leadership and innovative development, Ringeisen's laboratories at the NRL have been selected to be the focal point for a Defense Health Program (DHP) supported 3D Bioprinting and Fabrication Consortium - a multi-user facility harboring multiple, diverse bioprinting technologies that will serve as a validation center for DoD-funded bioprinting programs important to soldier health, such as, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, and eye and cornea surgery.

By reaching out to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) to bridge the NRL bioprinting technology with DoD biomedical researchers and clinicians, Ringeisen established a consortium of industry, academic, government, and military researchers within a single laboratory facility that supports multiple programs.

Through establishment of this consortium the possibility exists for providing shared access and discovery that will keep DoD and DHP goals in sight and preclude redundancy in bioprinting programs, Montgomery adds. For these reasons, and the most recent critical advancements in extending the possibility for the culturing of environmental microorganisms, of what had previously been deemed unculturable, I strongly support the DoD's choice of Ringeisen for 'Scientist of the Quarter.'

Hired by NRL as a research chemist in 2002, Ringeisen's distinguished career has focused primarily on the development and improvement of laser-based 2D and 3D printing techniques for biofabrication and tissue engineering applications. His research has also involved the use of a variety of novel laser-based processing tools to deposit patterns and 3D structures of biological materials.

Ringeisen's ingenuity and scientific insight have resulted in numerous breakthroughs that include demonstrated printing of microvasculature on polymer/gel biopaper; 3D nerve conduits to potentially help aid repair of chronic spinal cord injuries; 3D mammalian cell patterns; and printing the world's first viable bacterial colony. The biofabrication and tissue engineering capabilities demonstrated by Ringeisen have been instrumental in advancing Navy S&T interests, such as, on-chip screening of new medical countermeasures for efficacy and toxicity; biomarker discovery to better identify biothreat infection; and regenerative medicine applications such as artificial 3D organs and tissue printing for improved warfighter health and survivability.

In 2015, Ringeisen was named an adjunct assistant professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at USU, supporting his desire to further bridge NRL 3D bioprinting innovations and technology developments with clinical applications. Also in 2015, he became the first scientist to apply bioprinting to solid phase environmental samples including soil and sediment for the purpose of culturing undiscovered and uncultured microorganisms.

An accomplished publisher of more than 60 research manuscripts, Ringeisen is also a named inventor on 12 NRL patents, eight of which are associated with bioprinting. Two of these patents are specific to BioLP - a laser direct write tool for creating 2D and 3D patterns of almost any biomaterial, including living cells (bacterial, mammalian), solid-phase environmental samples (soil, sediment), hydrogels and biomolecules - licensed for human tissue microdissection applications.

Ringeisen has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1994). He attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying gas scattering and reactivity of liquid surfaces, then continued on to receive his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2000. Ringeisen was hired at NRL after completing his two-year postdoctoral research associateship in the Materials Division, researching laser deposition of biomaterials.

Complementing Ringeisen's research efforts, he has received funding from the Department of Energy (DoE), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NRL. His section has collaborated with nationally recognized universities and research institutions such as Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Rutgers University, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, USUHS, and the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Publications by Ringeisen and his section at NRL have appeared in prominent journals such as Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Energy and Environmental Science, NanoLetters and the Material Research Society Bulletin.