Skip to main content

Stephanie Florczyk

Assistant Professor 

Phone: 407-823-2738
Office: ENG I, Room 450
Website: Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering and Cancer Research Laboratory

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

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 the bone repair compared to using bone grafts. Both polymeric and ceramic scaffolds have been demonstrated to foster bone deposition in vitro and in vivo. Metallic implants are also being explored.


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, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Additionally, the 3D biomaterial scaffolds support the co-culture of cancer cells with fibroblasts or immune cells, providing a more representative model of the heterogeneous in the vivo tumor microenvironment. The 3D biomaterial scaffolds can be used to characterize the 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 the 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.

  1. Xu K, Wang Z, Copland JA, Chakrabarti R, Florczyk SJ, “3D Porous Chitosan-Chondroitin Sulfate Scaffolds Promote Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Prostate Cancer Cells.” Biomaterials, 254: 120126 (2020).
  2. Wang Z and Florczyk SJ, “Freeze-FRESH: A 3D printing technique to produce biomaterial scaffolds with hierarchical porosity.” Materials, 13: 354 (2020).
  3. Rouhollahi A, Ilegbusi O+, Florczyk SJ, Xu K, Foroosh H, “Effect of Mold Geometry on Pore Size in Freeze Cast Chitosan-Alginate Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering.” Annals of Biomedical Engineering, (2019).
  4. Xu K, Ganapathy K, Andl T, Wang Z, Copland JA, Chakrabarti R, Florczyk SJ, “3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffold stiffness promotes differential responses in prostate cancer cell lines.” Biomaterials, 217: 119311 (2019).
  5. Newell R, Wang Z, Arias I, Mehta A, Sohn Y, Florczyk SJ, “Direct contact cytotoxicity evaluation of CoCrFeNi-based high entropy alloys.” Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 9 (4): 59 (2018).
  6. Pazmino Betancourt BA, Florczyk SJ, Simon M, Juba D, Douglas JF, Keyrouz W, Bajcsy P, Lee C, and Simon CG, “Effect of the scaffold microenvironment on cell polarizability and capacitance determined by probabilistic computations.” Biomedical Materials, 13: 025012 (2018).
  7. Bajcsy P*, Yoon S*, Florczyk SJ*, Hotaling N*, Simon M, Szczypinski PM, Schaub NJ, Simon CG, Brady M, Sriram R, “Modeling, validation and verification of three-dimensional cell-scaffold contacts from terabyte-sized images.” BMC Bioinformatics, 18: 526 (2017).  *equal contribution
  8. Florczyk SJ, Simon M, Juba D, Pine PS, Sarkar S, Chen D, Baker PJ, Bodhak S, Cardone A, Brady MC, Bajcsy P, and Simon CG, “A bioinformatics 3D cellular morphotyping strategy for assessing biomaterial scaffold niches.” ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 3(10): 2302-2313 (2017).
  9. Florczyk SJ*, Kievit FM*, Wang K, Erickson AE, Ellenbogen RG, and Zhang M, “3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffolds promote proliferation and enrichment of cancer stem-like cells.” Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4: 6326-6334 (2016).  *equal contribution
  10. 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, 260(3): 363-376 (2015).
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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).
  14. 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
  15. 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).
  16. 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).
  17. 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).
  18. 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).