Bruce Klitzman

Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Our overriding interests are in the fields of tissue engineering, wound healing, biosensors, and long term improvement of medical device implantation. My basic research interests are in the area of physiological mechanisms of optimizing substrate transport to tissue. This broad topic covers studies on a whole animal, whole organ, hemorheological, microvascular, cellular, ultrastructural, and molecular level. The current projects include:
1) control of blood flow and flow distribution in the microcirculation,
2) the effects of long-term synthetic and biologic implants on substrate transport to tissues,
3) tissue engineering; combining isolated cells, especially adult stem cells, with biomaterials to form specialized composite structures for implantation, with particular emphasis on endothelial cell physiology and its alteration by isolation and seeding on biomaterials.
4) decreasing the thrombogenicity of synthetic blood vessels and other blood-contacting devices, and improving their overall performance and biocompatibility.
5) reducing tissue damage resulting from abnormal perfusion (e.g., relative ischemia, anoxia, etc.) and therapies which minimize ischemic damage.
6) biosensor function, particularly glucose sensors in normal and diabetics.
7) measurement of tissue blood flow and oxygenation as an indicator of tissue viability and functional potential.
8) development of biocompatible materials for soft tissue reconstruction or augmentation.
9) improving performance of glaucoma drainage devices by directing a more favorable foreign body reaction
10) wound healing; particularly internal healing around foreign materials and the effect and prevention of microbes around implanted devices.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor Emeritus in Surgery
  • Assistant Research Professor in Cell Biology
  • Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 0112 Baker House, Trent Dr, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 630-7445
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1979

Courses Taught

  • BES 301B: Research in BES
  • CELLBIO 493: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Wang, H. N., J. K. Register, A. M. Fales, N. Gandra, E. H. Cho, A. Boico, G. M. Palmer, B. Klitzman, and T. Vo-Dinh. “Surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanosensors for in vivo detection of nucleic acid targets in a large animal model.” Nano Research 11, no. 8 (August 1, 2018): 4005–16.
  • Reese, Aspen T., Eugenia H. Cho, Bruce Klitzman, Scott P. Nichols, Natalie A. Wisniewski, Max M. Villa, Heather K. Durand, et al. “Antibiotic-induced changes in the microbiota disrupt redox dynamics in the gut.” Elife 7 (June 19, 2018).
  • Ibrahim, Mohamed, Jennifer Bond, Manuel A. Medina, Lei Chen, Carlos Quiles, George Kokosis, Latif Bashirov, Bruce Klitzman, and Howard Levinson. “Characterization of the Foreign Body Response to Common Surgical Biomaterials in a Murine Model.” Eur J Plast Surg 40, no. 5 (November 2017): 383–92.
  • Chien, Jennifer S., Mahmoud Mohammed, Hysem Eldik, Mohamed M. Ibrahim, Jeremy Martinez, Scott P. Nichols, Natalie Wisniewski, and Bruce Klitzman. “Injectable Phosphorescence-based Oxygen Biosensors Identify Post Ischemic Reactive Hyperoxia.” Sci Rep 7, no. 1 (August 15, 2017): 8255.
  • Schweller, Ryan M., Zi Jun Wu, Bruce Klitzman, and Jennifer L. West. “Stiffness of Protease Sensitive and Cell Adhesive PEG Hydrogels Promotes Neovascularization In Vivo.” Ann Biomed Eng 45, no. 6 (June 2017): 1387–98.
  • Laux, Peter, Tewes Tralau, Jutta Tentschert, Annegret Blume, Sascha Al Dahouk, Wolfgang Bäumler, Eric Bernstein, et al. “A medical-toxicological view of tattooing.” Lancet 387, no. 10016 (January 23, 2016): 395–402.
  • Vallejo-Heligon, Suzana G., Nga L. Brown, William M. Reichert, and Bruce Klitzman. “Porous, Dexamethasone-loaded polyurethane coatings extend performance window of implantable glucose sensors in vivo.” Acta Biomater 30 (January 2016): 106–15.
  • Register, Janna K., Andrew M. Fales, Hsin-Neng Wang, Stephen J. Norton, Eugenia H. Cho, Alina Boico, Sulolit Pradhan, et al. “In vivo detection of SERS-encoded plasmonic nanostars in human skin grafts and live animal models.” Anal Bioanal Chem 407, no. 27 (November 2015): 8215–24.
  • Jung, Youngmee, HaYeun Ji, Zaozao Chen, Hon Fai Chan, Leigh Atchison, Bruce Klitzman, George Truskey, and Kam W. Leong. “Scaffold-free, Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Tissue Engineered Blood Vessels.” Sci Rep 5 (October 12, 2015): 15116.
  • Koschwanez, H. E., F. Y. Yap, B. Klitzman, and W. M. Reichert. “In vitro and in vivo characterization of porous poly-L-lactic acid coatings for subcutaneously implanted glucose sensors.” J Biomed Mater Res A 87, no. 3 (December 1, 2008): 792–807.
  • Prichard, Heather L., William Reichert, and Bruce Klitzman. “IFATS collection: Adipose-derived stromal cells improve the foreign body response.” Stem Cells 26, no. 10 (October 2008): 2691–95.
  • Kovach, Stephen J., Kim E. Koger, Bruce Klitzman, Gunter Germann, and L Scott Levin. “Advantages of minimally invasive, balloon-dissector-assisted tissue expander placement: a clinical and experimental study.” Ann Plast Surg 60, no. 1 (January 2008): 89–97.
  • Hetrick, Evan M., Heather L. Prichard, Bruce Klitzman, and Mark H. Schoenfisch. “Reduced foreign body response at nitric oxide-releasing subcutaneous implants.” Biomaterials 28, no. 31 (November 2007): 4571–80.
  • Baccarani, Alessio, Koji Yasui, Kevin C. Olbrich, Ahmed El-Sabbagh, Stephen Kovach, Keith E. Follmar, Detlev Erdmann, et al. “Efficacy of ethyl nitrite in reversing surgical vasospasm.” J Reconstr Microsurg 23, no. 5 (July 2007): 257–62.
  • Norton, L. W., H. E. Koschwanez, N. A. Wisniewski, B. Klitzman, and W. M. Reichert. “Vascular endothelial growth factor and dexamethasone release from nonfouling sensor coatings affect the foreign body response.” J Biomed Mater Res A 81, no. 4 (June 15, 2007): 858–69.
  • Follmar, Keith E., Heather L. Prichard, Francis C. DeCroos, Howard T. Wang, L Scott Levin, Bruce Klitzman, Kevin C. Olbrich, and Detlev Erdmann. “Combined bone allograft and adipose-derived stem cell autograft in a rabbit model.” Ann Plast Surg 58, no. 5 (May 2007): 561–65.
  • Prichard, Heather L., William M. Reichert, and Bruce Klitzman. “Adult adipose-derived stem cell attachment to biomaterials.” Biomaterials 28, no. 6 (February 2007): 936–46.
  • Heitmann, Christoph, Farah N. Khan, Detlev Erdmann, Kevin C. Olbrich, A. Adam Sharkawy, and Bruce Klitzman. “Vein graft anastomoses with magnets.” J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 60, no. 12 (2007): 1296–1301.
  • Lanzen, Jennifer, Rod D. Braun, Bruce Klitzman, David Brizel, Timothy W. Secomb, and Mark W. Dewhirst. “Direct demonstration of instabilities in oxygen concentrations within the extravascular compartment of an experimental tumor.” Cancer Res 66, no. 4 (February 15, 2006): 2219–23.
  • Ko, Jason, Joel Ross, Hani Awad, Herbert Hurwitz, and Bruce Klitzman. “The effects of ZD6474, an inhibitor of VEGF signaling, on cutaneous wound healing in mice.” J Surg Res 129, no. 2 (December 2005): 251–59.
  • Nablo, Brian J., Heather L. Prichard, Renita D. Butler, Bruce Klitzman, and Mark H. Schoenfisch. “Inhibition of implant-associated infections via nitric oxide release.” Biomaterials 26, no. 34 (December 2005): 6984–90.
  • Chan, Bernard P., Wenge Liu, Bruce Klitzman, William M. Reichert, and George A. Truskey. “In vivo performance of dual ligand augmented endothelialized expanded polytetrafluoroethylene vascular grafts.” J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater 72, no. 1 (January 15, 2005): 52–63.
  • Sorg, Brian S., Cathryn D. Peltz, Bruce Klitzman, and Mark W. Dewhirst. “Method for improved accuracy in endogenous urea recovery marker calibrations for microdialysis in tumors.” J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods 52, no. 3 (2005): 341–49.
  • Dai, Qunsheng, Jianhua Huang, Bruce Klitzman, Chunming Dong, Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, Keith L. March, Joseph Rokovich, et al. “Engineered zinc finger-activating vascular endothelial growth factor transcription factor plasmid DNA induces therapeutic angiogenesis in rabbits with hindlimb ischemia.” Circulation 110, no. 16 (October 19, 2004): 2467–75.
  • Erdmann, Detlev, Anne M. Pippen, Kenneth J. Moquin, Ranya Sweis, Laura E. Niklason, L Scott Levin, Kevin C. Olbrich, and Bruce Klitzman. “Immunohistochemical identification of vascular endothelial growth factor in pig latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flaps following ischemia-reperfusion injury.” Ann Plast Surg 53, no. 4 (October 2004): 398–403.
  • Erdmann, Detlev, Ranya Sweis, Christoph Heitmann, Koji Yasui, Kevin C. Olbrich, L Scott Levin, A Adam Sharkawy, and Bruce Klitzman. “Side-to-side sutureless vascular anastomosis with magnets.” J Vasc Surg 40, no. 3 (September 2004): 505–11.
  • Wong, Michael S., Detlev Erdmann, Ranya Sweis, Christiane Pöllmann, Margaret Farrar, Gregory S. Georgiade, L Scott Levin, Kevin C. Olbrich, and Bruce Klitzman. “Basic fibroblast growth factor expression following surgical delay of rat transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps.” Plast Reconstr Surg 113, no. 7 (June 2004): 2030–36.
  • Erdmann, Detlev, Ranya Sweis, Michael S. Wong, Laura E. Niklason, Tracey V. du Laney, L Scott Levin, Bruce Klitzman, and Kevin C. Olbrich. “Vascular endothelial growth factor expression in pig latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps after ischemia reperfusion injury.” Plast Reconstr Surg 111, no. 2 (February 2003): 775–80.
  • Sachse, R. E., S. A. Fink, and B. Klitzman. “Multimodality evaluation of pressure relief surfaces.” Plast Reconstr Surg 102, no. 7 (December 1998): 2381–87.
  • Sachse, R. E., S. A. Fink, and B. Klitzman. “Comparison of supine and lateral positioning on various clinically used support surfaces.” Ann Plast Surg 41, no. 5 (November 1998): 513–18.
  • Klitzman, B., C. Kalinowski, S. L. Glasofer, and L. Rugani. “Pressure ulcers and pressure relief surfaces.” Clin Plast Surg 25, no. 3 (July 1998): 443–50.
  • Sharkawy, A. A., B. Klitzman, G. A. Truskey, and W. M. Reichert. “Engineering the tissue which encapsulates subcutaneous implants. I. Diffusion properties.” J Biomed Mater Res 37, no. 3 (December 5, 1997): 401–12.;2-e.
  • Ritter, E. F., Y. B. Kim, H. P. Reischl, D. Serafin, A. M. Rudner, and B. Klitzman. “Heparin coating of vascular prostheses reduces thromboemboli.” Surgery 122, no. 5 (November 1997): 888–92.
  • Ritter, E. F., M. Axelrod, K. W. Minn, E. Eades, A. M. Rudner, D. Serafin, and B. Klitzman. “Modulation of ultraviolet light-induced epidermal damage: beneficial effects of tocopherol.” Plast Reconstr Surg 100, no. 4 (September 1997): 973–80.
  • Viscardi, P. J., E. A. Page, H. G. Clark, D. Serafin, and B. Klitzman. “Iloprost in alginate decreases the thrombogenicity of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene.” J Reconstr Microsurg 13, no. 4 (May 1997): 303–6.
  • Klitzman, B. “Rheology and the regulation of oxygen delivery.” Microsurgery 15, no. 6 (1994): 369–73.