Cevat Erisken

School of Engineering, Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor
Block 3 Room 522
+ 7 (7172) 70 48 98



B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

M.Sc., Economics, City University of London, London, UK

Ph.D., Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ




2008-2012 : Post-doctoral Fellow, Columbia University in the City of New York, Biomedical Engineering

2012-2014  : Research Faculty, Columbia University Medical Center, College of Dental Medicine

2014-2017  : Assistant Professor, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Biomedical Engineering

2017-           : Associate Professor, Nazarbayev University, Chemical Engineering




My philosophy of teaching is rooted in my beliefs about teaching and learning. Firstly, I strongly believe that teaching is more than transmitting knowledge or teaching contents. It is also about fostering personal and social skills and experience necessary for success in life and for the improvement of humanity. My ultimate goal, therefore, is to produce socially-responsible and caring intellectuals with critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills, effective problem solving strategies, and the capacity for life-long learning. Secondly, I view learning as an active endeavor which involves the learner as an active participant in the learning process, and the teacher as a collaborator in learning, facilitating and promoting the natural desire and curiosity to learn. Thirdly, each learner is unique in their own way. They each have different backgrounds, needs, interests, learning styles, and abilities. Therefore, I believe that my responsibility is to prepare learning experiences that will result in effective learning for each individual.



Dr. Cevat Erisken’s current research focuses on the design and fabrication of nanotechnology based functional biomaterials as well as controlled release systems to be utilized for orthopedic tissue-tissue interface regeneration. His area of interest also includes regenerative engineering through stem/progenitor cell homing. Part of his research involves mathematical modeling of release behavior of growth factors from various geometries to be able to better control the availability of macromolecules to the cells.



It is becoming widely accepted that the quality of human body could be improved by engineering, i.e., repairing or replacing, its parts just like it is done for a mechanical device such as a car. Engineering of human tissues and organs has now been possible with the recent improvements in engineering, materials science, as well as biology. We, as human beings, can all play a role in the improvement of quality of our lives. My research, in this regard, focuses on:

  • exploring the structures and functions of native tissues,
  • design and engineering functionally relevant biomaterials,
  • elucidating the interaction between the cells and biomaterials,
  • generating native-like tissues, and finally
  • characterizing the engineered body parts to evaluate how closely they mimic the properties and functions of their native counterparts.




Design and processing of devices that could be used in tissue engineering is a challenge because the tissues possess complex structures with gradients in properties and functions (Fig 1). Since an abrupt change in material properties between two homogeneous materials generally leads to mechanical failure due to high stress concentrations accumulated at the interface, fabrication of devices with gradients in properties, i.e. functionally graded materials, is a requirement for the mimicking of structures of native tissues.


Figure 1. Gradient at anterior cruciate ligament-to-bone interface: Variation in structure and composition with distance.


To be able to design and process suitable biomaterials, I am, firstly, interested in fabricating functionally graded biomaterials (Fig 2 depicts an example of grading created in a nanofibrous mesh, and the resulting functionality in terms of mechanical properties and surface wettability).

Research up to date has demonstrated that controlling the cell behavior is very critical in the engineering of tissues and that cells interact with biomaterials following the principle of “contact guidance”. For example, nanoscale topographies were shown to induce differentiation of stem cells into different lineages. Therefore, design and fabrication of nanostructured devices could be very attractive for administering the cell behavior. In this regard, carrying out research in the processing of nanocomposites such as nanoparticle incorporated nanofibers is the topic of my interest.


Figure 2. An example of creating functional grading: Continuously graded  beta-tricalcium phosphate nanoparticles in nanofibrous mesh of polycaprolactone (A), and the functional effect of such grading on tensile (B) and surface (C) properties (Source: Erisken et al. Biomaterials, 2008)



It is being realized that growth factors are becoming useful in tissue engineering applications to be able to form structures compositionally and biologically similar to native tissues. The usefulness of  growth factors in tissue repair/regeneration relies on temporal control of the availability of these molecules to cells.

This is, generally, achieved by adding them into the cell culture media exogenously. Alternatively and more wisely, they can be incorporated into the carriers and be made available to cells in desired dosages through their controlled release into the environment during cell culture. In this context, incorporation of biologically active molecules into scaffolds/carriers to make them available to cells at desired concentrations and locations is imperative for improved efficacy. Figure 1, below, depicts the controlled release of transforming growth factor beta 3 (TGF-β3) from poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanofiber meshes.



Figure 3. Controlled release of TGF-β3 from electrospun PLGA meshes. (Erisken et al. Annual Meeting of BMES, 2011).


Modeling the release kinetics of growth factors from various geometries is also important for the prediction of long-term availability of  active molecules at appropriate doses. A two-phased approach developed for the prediction of controlled release behavior of TGF-βis provided in Fig 3 above.