Dr. Kar

Stephen Florczyk
Assistant Professor, MSE
Phone: (407) 823-2738
E-mail: Stephen.Florczyk@ucf.edu


  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, 2012
  • M.S., Biomedical Materials Engineering Science, Alfred University, 2006
  • B.S., Ceramic Engineering, Alfred University, 2004


Dr. Florczyk's research is focused on the development and processing of three-dimensional (3D) biomaterial scaffolds. The biomaterial scaffolds are primarily prepared from natural polymers, including chitosan, hyaluronic acid, and alginate, and ceramics. The approach is to produce biomaterial scaffolds with desirable properties for the application, with the ability to tailor scaffold properties through processing control. This allows for the production of scaffolds with different morphologies, chemistries, and mechanical properties.

The 3D biomaterial scaffolds developed in Dr. Florczyk's lab are utilized in three research areas: 1. tissue engineering; 2. tumor microenvironment; and 3. cell-material interaction.

The 3D biomaterial scaffolds are used in tissue engineering applications to promote bone regrowth. The use of 3D biomaterial scaffolds provides an alternative for bone repair compared to using bone grafts. Both polymeric and ceramic scaffolds have been demonstrated to foster bone deposition in vitro and in vivo.

The 3D biomaterial scaffolds are used in tumor microenvironment applications to mimic the in vivo tumor microenvironment and are applied as an in vitro platform to screen therapies to treat cancer. The use of 3D biomaterial scaffolds provides better in vitro models for cancer research compared to culturing cells on 2D surfaces. Previous work has demonstrated the use of 3D biomaterial scaffolds to mimic the in vivo microenvironment of glioma (brain cancer), prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Additionally, the 3D biomaterial scaffolds support co-culture of cancer cells with fibroblasts or immune cells, providing a more representative model of the heterogeneous in vivo tumor microenvironment. The 3D biomaterial scaffolds can be used to characterize response to chemotherapies or immunotherapies, with the scaffolds providing a response that better resembles the clinical response than 2D models.

The 3D biomaterial scaffolds are used to characterize cell-material interaction by evaluating the response of adult stem cells (bone marrow stromal cells, BMSC) to scaffolds with different structures and properties. Cells change their shape in response to scaffold morphology, mechanical properties, and chemistry and changes in cell shape can be used to characterize cell-material interaction. Other work will investigate scaffold directed differentiation, where the biomaterial scaffold promotes stem cell differentiation into osteogenic lineage. This research is also interested in evaluating variation in adult stem cells between patients (donors) to understand donor variation and to provide guidance to enable tissue engineering to become a widespread clinical treatment.

Selected Publications

Bajcsy P, Simon M, Florczyk SJ, Simon CG, Juba D, and Brady M, "A method for the evaluation of thousands of automated 3D stem cell segmentations." Journal of Microscopy, (2015). doi: 10.1111/jmi.12303

Kievit FM*, Florczyk SJ*, Leung MC, Wang K, Wu JD, Silber JR, Ellenbogen RG, Lee JSH, and Zhang M, "Proliferation and enrichment of CD133+ glioblastoma cancer stem cells on 3D chitosan-alginate scaffolds." Biomaterials, 35(33): 9137-9143 (2014). *equal contribution

Phan-Lai V, Kievit FM, Florczyk SJ, Wang K, Disis ML, Zhang M, "CCL21 and IFN╬│ recruit and activate tumor specific T cells in 3D scaffold model of breast cancer." Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 14(2): 204-210 (2014).

Florczyk SJ*, Wang K*, Jana S, Wood DL, Sytsma SK, Sham J, Kievit FM, Zhang M, "Porous chitosan-hyaluronic acid scaffolds as a mimic of glioblastoma microenvironment ECM." Biomaterials, 34(38): 10143-10150 (2013). *equal contribution

Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Li Z, Huang JI, Hopper RA, Zhang M, "Evaluation of 3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffolds in rat calvarial defects for bone regeneration applications." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A, 101A(10): 2974-2983 (2013).

Phan-Lai V*, Florczyk SJ*, Kievit FM, Wang K, Gad E, Disis NL, Zhang M, "Three-dimensional scaffolds to evaluate tumor associated fibroblast-mediated suppression of breast tumor specific T cells." Biomacromolecules, 14(5): 1330-1337 (2013). *equal contribution

Galperin A, Oldinski RA, Florczyk SJ, Breyers JD, Zhang M, Ratner BD, "Integrated bi-layered scaffold for osteochondral tissue engineering." Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2(6): 872-883, (2013).

Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Jana S, Li Z, Bhattarai N, Huang JI, Hopper RA, Zhang M, "Enhanced bone tissue formation by alginate gel-assisted cell seeding in porous ceramic scaffolds and sustained release of growth factor." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A, 100A(12): 3408-3415 (2012).

Florczyk SJ, Liu G, Kievit FM, Lewis AM, Wu JD, Zhang M, "3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffolds: New matrix for studying prostate cancer cell-lymphocyte interaction in vitro." Advanced Healthcare Materials, 1(5): 590-599 (2012).

Jana S, Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Zhang M, "High-strength pristine porous chitosan scaffolds for tissue engineering." Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22(13): 6291-6299 (2012).

Florczyk SJ, Kim D, Wood DL, Zhang M, "Influence of processing parameters on pore structure of 3D porous chitosan-alginate polyelectrolyte complex scaffolds." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A, 98A(4): 614-620 (2011).

Kievit FM, Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Veiseh O, Park JO, Disis ML, Zhang M, "Chitosan-alginate 3D scaffolds as a mimic of the glioma tumor microenvironment." Biomaterials, 31(22): 5903-5910 (2010).

Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Central Florida
Engineering Building 1, Room 381  •  TEL: (407) 882-1455 FAX: (407) 882-1462  •  4000 Central Florida Blvd. Box 162455, Orlando, Florida, 32816  •  web@cecs.ucf.edu