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Dr. Kim Jones

Associate Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering

tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, immune and inflammatory responses to biomaterials, host remodelling of implanted constructs.
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:
JHE 374
+1 905.525.9140 x 26333


Research Interests

From biomedical devices to drug delivery to regenerative medicine (tissue engineering), biomaterials are serving increasingly complex roles. Beyond merely providing structure, biomaterials are now integrated as scaffolds or particles that deliver biologically active agents (cells, drugs or antigens) in “combination products”. Thus, the body’s response to the biomaterial will govern the effectiveness of these next generation applications. I am interested in exploring the causes and effects of the host response to biomaterials in order to guide future design using biology as a framework.

1. Causes of biomaterial-induced inflammation
On a molecular level, what causes inflammation after biomaterial implantation? We have been dissecting the contributions of adsorbed proteins, particle size and patterns associated with the biomaterial itself. We hypothesize that some biomaterials are recognised as pathogen associated molecular patters through receptors of innate immunity. In order to create biologically-relevant design criteria, we must identify the initiators of inflammation.

2. Effects of biomaterial-induced inflammation – adaptive immunity
Activation of innate immunity by biomaterials will alter adaptive immune responses to accompanying antigens or immune-mismatched cells. In tissue engineering, the biomaterial scaffold will influence the rejection response to an allogeneic functional cellular component. We are exploring how and why different biomaterials alter cellular rejection. Ultimately, by engineering biomaterials and cells, we aim to generate tissue-engineered constructs that resist rejection.

Given that most biomaterials activate innate-type responses that are known to guide adaptive immunity, we have also been investigating natural and synthetic polymers as vaccine adjuvants to deliver antigens. By controlling the innate activation and targeting delivery, we aim to rationally design adjuvants that tune immune responses, facilitating vaccination against diseases such as AIDS, malaria and cancer.

3. Effects of biomaterial-induced inflammation – fibrosis
A serious clinical problem after biomaterial implantation is scarring or fibrosis. It can interfere with device function and is likely to retard regeneration in tissue engineering applications. We are curious as to the links between biomaterial-induced inflammation and fibrosis. We have been using tools developed to investigate chronic fibrotic diseases to explore this mechanism.

Regenerative Medicine Today
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  • B.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering, Waterloo (1995)
  • M.Sc. Biology, Guelph (1998)
  • Ph.D.Chemical Engineering, Toronto (2003)



Recently submitted papers

Dong, Y and Jones, KS. Effect of serum and structure on macrophages response to alginate. Submitted to Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A.

Farooqui, N, Davies L and Jones KS. The in vitro effects of biomaterials on lymphocyte responses to an allogeneic challenge. Submitted to Tissue Engineering

McLean, D.,Jones KS, Hoare T, and Pelton R. Amphoteric Microgels as Adjuvants for the Delivery of Protein-Based Antigens. Submitted to Biomacromolecules

Recently accepted papers

Jones, KS (2008) Assays on the influence on biomaterials on allogeneic rejection in tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering, Part B, Reviews

Dong, Y and Jones, KS (2008) Effect of alginate on innate immune activation of macrophages. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A.

Jones, K.S. (2008) Biomaterials as Vaccine Adjuvants. Biotechnology Progress.

Mikhail, A.S. Jones, K.S., Sheardown, H.S. (2008) Dendrimer Grafted Cell Adhesion Peptide Modified PDMS. Biotechnology Progress.

Published papers

Jones, K.S. (2008) Effects of biomaterial-induced inflammation on fibrosis and rejection. Seminars in Immunology. 20(2):130-6.

Jones, K.S., Gorczynski, R.M., Sefton, M.V. (2006) Suppressed splenocyte proliferation following a xenogeneic skin graft due to implanted biomaterials. Transplantation, 2006 Aug 15;82(3):415-21

Jones, K.S., Gorczynski, R.M., Sefton, M.V. (2004) In vivo recognition by the host adaptive immune system of microencapsulated xenogeneic cells. Transplantation. 2004 Nov 27;78(10):1454-62

Jones, K.S., McKersie, B.D., Paroschy, J. (2000) Prevention of ice propagation by permeability barriers in bud axes of Vitis vinifera. Can. J. Bot. 78: 3-9.

McKersie, B.D., Murnaghan, J., Jones, K.S., Bowley, S.R. (2000) Iron-superoxide dismutase expression in transgenic alfalfa increases winter survival without a detectable increase in photosynthetic oxidative stress tolerance. Plant Physiol. 122: 1427-1437.

Jones, K.S., Paroschy, J., McKersie, B.D., Bowley, S.R. (1999) Carbohydrate composition and freezing tolerance of canes and buds in Vitis vinifera. J. Plant Phys. 155: 101-106.

McKersie, B.D., Bowley, S.R., Jones, K.S. (1999) Winter survival of transgenic alfalfa overexpressing superoxide dismutase. Plant Physiol. 119: 839-847.

McKersie, B.D., Bowley, S.R., Jones, K.S., Gossen, B. (1999) Winter survival of transgenic Medicago sativa over-expressing superoxide dismutase. In M.F. Smallwood, Calvert, C.M. and Bowles (eds.) Plant Responses to Environmental Stress, Bios Scientific Publishers.


McLean, D., Jones, K.S. and Hoare, T. (2008) Novel vaccine adjuvants: Polymer microgels. Patent application submitted March 2008.

McKersie, B.D., Bowley, S.R. Jones, K.S., Samis, K. (2003) Enhanced Storage Organ Production in Plants. U.S. Patent No. 6,518,486.