John Slater, Institute for Public Administration.

Associate Professor

John Slater, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

590 Avenue 1743
Office 405
Newark DE, 19713
P: 302-831-6541

Lab Website


  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering. Doctoral Portfolio Degree in Nanotechnology. University of Texas at Austin.
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering. University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Cell Engineering
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Microfluidics


It is well established that microenvironmental cues influence cell fate but the molecular mechanisms that drive this phenomenon remain elusive and the ability to precisely control a cell’s local environment remains difficult. The Slater Lab focuses on the development and implementation of new fabrication methodologies to create biomimetic patterned surfaces and 3D multicellular constructs that allow for precise control over the presentation of both biophysical and biochemical cues that can be tuned to elicit desired cellular traits. The lab is applying these highly structured biomaterials to a number of topics including the recapitulation of desired cellular phenotypes, reduction of cellular heterogeneity in culture, lineage-specific stem cell differentiation, and development of high-throughput drug screening models.


Breast Cancer Research

(1) S. Pradhan, J.L. Sperduto, C.J. Farino, and J.H. Slater. “Engineered In Vitro Models of Tumor Dormancy and Reactivation.” Journal of Biological Engineering. 2018.

(2) S. Pradhan and J.H. Slater. “Tunable Hydrogels for Controlling Phenotypic Cancer Cell States to Model Breast Cancer Dormancy and Reactivation.” Biomaterials. 2019.

(3) S. Pradhan and J.H. Slater. “Fabrication, Characterization, and Implementation of Engineered Hydrogels for Controlling Breast Cancer Cell Phenotype and Dormancy.” MethodsX. 2019.

(4) S. Pradhan and J.H. Slater. “Datasets Describing Hydrogel Properties and Cellular Metrics for Modeling of Tumor Dormancy.” Data in Brief. 2019.


(1) S. Pradhan, K.A. Keller, J.L. Sperduto, and J.H. Slater. “Fundamentals of Laser-Based Hydrogel Degradation and Applications in Cell and Tissue Engineering.” Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2017.

(2) K.A. Heintz, M.E. Bregenzer, J.L. Niemczyk, K.H. Lee, J.L. West, and J.H. Slater. “Fabrication of 3D Biomimetic Microfluidic Networks in Hydrogels.” Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2016.

(3) J. Guo, K.A. Keller, P. Govyadinov, P. Ruchhoeft, J.H. Slater, and D. Mayerich. “Accurate Flow in Augmented Networks (AFAN): An Approach to Generating Three-Dimensional Biomimetic Microfluidic Networks with Controlled Flow.” Analytical Methods. 2019.

(4) K.A. Heintz, D. Mayerich, and J.H. Slater. “Image-Guided, Laser-Based Fabrication of Vascular-Derived Microfluidic Networks.” Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2017.

(5) A.F. Smith, V. Doyeux, M. Berg, M. Peyrounette, M.H. Javaherian, A.E. Larue, J.H. Slater, F. Lauwers, P. Blinder, D. Kleinfeld, C.B. Shaffer, N. Nishimura, Y. Davit, and S. Lorthois. “Brain Capillary Networks Across Species: A Few Simple Organizational Requirements are Sufficient to Reproduce Both Structure and Function.” Frontiers in Physiology. 2019.


(1) S. Pradhan, O.A. Banda, C.J. Farino, J.L Sperduto, K.A. Keller, R. Taitano, and J.H. Slater. “Biofabrication Strategies and Engineered In Vitro Systems for Vascular Mechanobiology.” Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2020.

(2) O.A. Banda, C. Sabanagayanam, and J.H. Slater. “A Reference-Free Traction Force Microscopy Platform Fabricated via Two-Photon Laser Scanning Lithography Enables Facile Measurement of Cell-Generated Forces.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2019.

(3) O.A. Banda and J.H. Slater. “Fabrication and Implementation of a Reference-Free Traction Force Microscopy Platform.” Journal of Visualized Experiments. 152, 360383 (2019).

(4) J.H. Slater, J.C. Culver, B.L. Long, C.W. Hu, J.Hu, T.F. Birk, A.A. Qutub, M.E. Dickinson, and J.L. West. “Recapitulation and Modulation of the Cellular Architecture of a User-Chosen Cell of Interest Using Cell-Derived, Biomimetic Patterning.” ACS Nano. 2015.

(5) A. Shukla, J.H. Slater, J.C. Culver, M.E. Dickinson, and J.L. West. “Biomimetic Surface Patterning Promotes Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2016.

(7) J.H. Slater, J.S. Miller, S.S. Yu, and J.L. West. “Fabrication of Multifaceted Micropatterned Surfaces with Laser Scanning Lithography.” Advanced Functional Materials. 2011.

(8) J.H. Slater, P.J. Boyce, M.P. Jancaitis, H.E. Gaubert, A.L. Chang, M.K. Markey, and W. Frey. “Modulation of Endothelial Cell Migration via Manipulation of Adhesion Site Growth Using Nanopatterned Surfaces.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2015.