Title: Post-Doctoral Researcher


Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill

BS, Mathematics and Exercise Science, Brevard College, Brevard NC


Lewis finished his Ph.D. working in our lab as well as with Matthew Fisher in the Translational Orthopedic Laboratory. He is continuing in our lab as a Post-doctoral researcher, where he will continue his work on muscle-tendon tissue engineering, as well as working on ECM manufacturing derived from different materials and working on new in vitro models to measure force of contraction in heart and muscle tissue. In his spare time Lewis loves riding and racing his bike and exploring new trails with his dog, Bode!

Awards and Honors

2019   Graduate Student Travel Award, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering

2014 Highest GPA for Exercise Science Majors, Brevard College

2014 Outstanding Student for Mathematics Majors, Brevard College

2012 ACA STEM Scholarship Recipient

Publications (* = Co-Author)

  1. Gaffney, L. S., Davis, Z. G., Mora-Navarro, C., Fisher, M. B., & Freytes, D. O. (2021). Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels Promote Expression of Muscle-Tendon Junction Proteins. Tissue Engineering Part A.
  2. Detwiler, A. H., Polkoff, K.,Gaffney, L., Freytes, D. O., & Piedrahita, J. (2022). Donor Age and Time in Culture Affect Dermal Fibroblast Contraction in an In Vitro Hydrogel Model. Tissue Engineering, (ja).
  3. Day, K., Schneible, J. D., Young, A. T., Pozdin, V. A., Van Den Driessche, G., Gaffney, L. A., … & Menegatti, S. (2020). Photoinduced reconfiguration to control the protein-binding affinity of azobenzene-cyclized peptides. Journal of Materials Chemistry B8(33), 7413-7427.
  4. Mora-Navarro, C., Badileanu, A., Gracioso Martins, A. M., Ozpinar, E. W., Gaffney, L., Huntress, I., … & Freytes, D. O. (2020). Porcine vocal fold lamina propria-derived biomaterials modulate TGF-β1-mediated fibroblast activation in vitro. ACS biomaterials science & engineering6(3), 1690-1703.
  5. Badileanu, A., Mora-Navarro, C., Gracioso Martins, A. M., Garcia, M. E., Sze, D., Ozpinar, E. W., Gaffney, L.S. & Freytes, D. O. (2020). Fast automated approach for the derivation of acellular extracellular matrix scaffolds from porcine soft tissues. ACS biomaterials science & engineering6(7), 4200-4213.
  6. Nandi, S., Sproul, E. P., Nellenbach, K., Erb, M., Gaffney, L., Freytes, D. O., & Brown, A. C. (2019). Platelet-like particles dynamically stiffen fibrin matrices and improve wound healing outcomes. Biomaterials science, 7(2), 669-682.
  7. Gaffney L, Wrona EA, and Freytes DO. Potential Synergistic Effects of Stem Cells and Extracellular Matrix Scaffolds. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. 2018 4 (4), 1208-1222 DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.7b00083
  8. Gaffney L*, Warren P*, Wrona EA*, Fisher MB, Freytes DO (2017) Macrophages’ Role in Tissue Disease and Regeneration. In: Kloc M. (eds) Macrophages. Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation, vol 62. Springer, Cham.

Conference Proceedings

  • Gaffney, L., Fisher, M., & Freytes, D. Muscle and Tendon Derived Extracellular Matrix Promotes Expression of Myotendinous Junction specific Integrins in Myoblast Cell Culture. Termis-AM, Orlando, FL. December 2019 Poster Presentation.
  • Gaffney, L., Fisher, M., & Freytes, D. Muscle and Tendon Derived Extracellular Matrix Promotes Expression of Myotendinous Junction specific Integrins in Myoblast Cell Culture. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference, Seven Springs, PA. June 2019 Poster Presentation.
  • Gaffney, L., Fisher, M., & Freytes, D. Adjacent Hydrogel Culture System for Co-Culture of Muscle-Tendon cells for in vitro modeling of the Myotendinous Junction  Biomaterial’s Day, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC. September 2017. Podium Presentation
  • Gaffney, L., Fisher, M., & Freytes, D. Integrated Hydrogel Culture System for Co-Culture of Muscle & Tendon Cells for In vitro Modeling of MyotendinousJunction.Termis-AM, Charlotte NC. December 2017. Poster Presentation
  • Gaffney, L., Wrona, E.A., Erb, P.,  Young, A., Daniele, M.A. PhD, Fisher, M.B. PhD, Freytes, D.O. PhD. BioEngineered Muscle Tissue as a Functional Testing Platform for Inflammatory Responses and Effects of Extracellular Matrix Scaffold. North Carolina Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society Annual Meeting, Chapel Hill, NC. 27, October 2016. Poster Presentation.