Robert Akins, PhD

Center Director/Principal Research Scientist

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware 1600 Rockland Road Wilmington, DE 19803

Biography

Robert E. Akins, Jr., PhD, FAACPDM, FAHA is a Principal Scientist, Director of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Research and Development, and Head of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research at the Nemours Children's Hospital in Delaware. He holds multiple leadership roles in research, mentoring, and professional development programs in the state, and he is a full professor affiliated with the departments of Materials Science & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware. He joined Nemours in 1992. Dr. Akins received both his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an inaugural fellow of the American Heart Association and a Fellow of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Research in the highly collaborative Akins group focuses on regenerative medicine and precision therapeutics for children requiring major surgery due to congenital conditions. The group has a particular emphasis on stem-cell and biomaterials-based approaches that can be individually-tuned for therapeutic use and on developing computational models for the diagnosis and prognosis of complex disease in newborns. His work has been generously supported by the Nemours Foundation, the American Heart Association, NASA's Biotechnology and Cell Science Program, the Swank Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI, NICHD, NCRR, and NIGMS), the State of Delaware, and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine / Pedal with Pete Foundation.

  • Feasibility and Acceptance of Early Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) for Enhanced Pediatric Hypertension Diagnosis within a High Deprivation Community; Unknown Source; (2023).

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  • DNA Methylation Analysis Reveals Distinct Patterns in Satellite Cell-Derived Myogenic Progenitor Cells of Subjects with Spastic Cerebral Palsy; Journal of Personalized Medicine; (2022).

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  • An Emerging Role for Epigenetics in Cerebral Palsy; Journal of Personalized Medicine; (2021).

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  • Transcriptional analysis of muscle tissue and isolated satellite cells in spastic cerebral palsy; Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; (2021).

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  • Resistance to Neuromuscular Blockade by Rocuronium in Surgical Patients with Spastic Cerebral Palsy; Journal of Personalized Medicine; (2021).

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  • Substrate stiffness directs the phenotype and polarization state of cord blood derived macrophages; Acta Biomaterialia; (2021).

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  • Machine learning in epigenetic diseases; Medical Epigenetics; (2021).

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  • Neointimal Hyperplasia after Carotid Transection and Anastomosis Surgery is Associated with Degradation of Decorin and Platelet Derived Growth Factor Signaling.; JVS-vascular science; (2020).

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  • Scientific Posters; Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; (2020).

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  • Regulation of neovasculogenesis in co-cultures of aortic adventitial fibroblasts and microvascular endothelial cells by cell-cell interactions and TGF-β/ALK5 signaling.; PloS one; (2020).

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  • Identification of epigenetic signatures indicating cerebral palsy; USPTO; (2020).

  • Human Adventitial Fibroblast Phenotype Depends on the Progression of Changes in Substrate Stiffness.; Advanced healthcare materials; (2020).

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  • Method for protecting skeletonized blood vessels; USPTO; (2020).

  • Biomarker Blood Tests for Cerebral Palsy; Cerebral Palsy; (2020).

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  • Scientific Posters; Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; (2019).

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  • Spatial Patterning of Molecular Cues and Vascular Cells in Fully Integrated Hydrogel Channels via Interfacial Bioorthogonal Cross-Linking.; ACS applied materials & interfaces; (2019).

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  • Neuromuscular Junction Changes in Spastic Cerebral Palsy; Cerebral Palsy; (2019).

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  • Epigenetic machine learning: utilizing DNA methylation patterns to predict spastic cerebral palsy; BMC Bioinformatics; (2018).

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  • Attenuation of Maladaptive Responses in Aortic Adventitial Fibroblasts through Stimuli-Triggered siRNA Release from Lipid-Polymer Nanocomplexes.; Advanced biosystems; (2017).

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  • Reduced arterial elasticity due to surgical skeletonization is ameliorated by abluminal PEG hydrogel.; Bioengineering & translational medicine; (2017).

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  • Aortic adventitial fibroblast sensitivity to mitogen activated protein kinase inhibitors depends on substrate stiffness.; Biomaterials; (2017).

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  • Motor unit diversity during elbow flexion; International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, NER; (2017).

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  • Fetal Rat Gubernaculum Mesenchymal Cells Adopt Myogenic and Myofibroblast-Like Phenotypes; Journal of Urology; (2016).

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  • Resilin-PEG hybrid hydrogels yield degradable elastomeric scaffolds with heterogeneous microstructure; Biomacromolecules; (2016).

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  • Polygenic inheritance of cryptorchidism susceptibility in the LE/orl rat; Molecular Human Reproduction; (2015).

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  • Decreasing matrix modulus of PEG hydrogels induces a vascular phenotype in human cord blood stem cells; Biomaterials; (2015).

  • Phenotype specific association of the TGFBR3 locus with nonsyndromic cryptorchidism; Journal of Urology; (2015).

  • 322; Critical Care Medicine; (2013).

  • Disruption of Basal Lamina Components in Neuromotor Synapses of Children with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy; PLoS ONE; (2013).

  • Electrospinning Fundamentals and Applications; Biomaterials Science; (2013).

  • Integrated wall stress: A new methodological approach to assess ventricular workload and myocardial contractile reserve; Journal of Translational Medicine; (2013).

  • Neuromotor synapses in Escobar syndrome; American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A; (2013).

  • Differential effects of substrate modulus on human vascular endothelial, smooth muscle, and fibroblastic cells; Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A; (2012).

  • In situ crosslinkable heparin-containing poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels for sustained anticoagulant release; Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A; (2012).

  • Reduced expression of androgen receptor and myosin heavy chain mRNA in cremaster muscle of boys with nonsyndromic cryptorchidism; Journal of Urology; (2012).

  • Continuous Force Measurement in Limb Lengthening; J Bioengineer & Biomedical Sci; (2011).

  • Development of a force-driven distractor for distraction osteogenesis; Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME; (2011).

  • Using distraction forces to drive an autodistractor during limb lengthening; Medical Engineering and Physics; (2011).

  • Erratum: Production of heparin-containing hydrogels for modulating cell responses (Acta Biomaterialia 5 (2009) (865-875)); Acta Biomaterialia; (2010).

  • Force feedback in limb lengthening; 2010 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC'10; (2010).

  • Force feedback in limb lengthening.; Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference; (2010).

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  • Identification of neuromuscular junctions by correlative confocal and transmission electron microscopy; Journal of Neuroscience Methods; (2010).

  • Three-dimensional culture alters primary cardiac cell phenotype; Tissue Engineering - Part A; (2010).

  • Half-logistic time constants as inotropic and lusitropic indices for four sequential phases of isometric tension curves in isolated rabbit and mouse papillary muscles; International Heart Journal; (2009).

  • Optimizing limb lengthening using an autodistractor and force measurement; 2008 Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis; (2009).

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  • Production of heparin-containing hydrogels for modulating cell responses; Acta Biomaterialia; (2009).

  • Half-logistic time constant: A more reliable lusitropic index than monoexponential time constant regardless of temperature in canine left ventricle; Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology; (2008).

  • Altered expression of muscle- and cytoskeleton-related genes in a rat strain with inherited cryptorchidism; Journal of Andrology; (2008).

  • C histomorphology of neuromuscular junction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Paediatric Anaesthesia; (2008).

  • Characterization of electrospun poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) fibers; Polymer; (2008).

  • Culture on electrospun polyurethane scaffolds decreases atrial natriuretic peptide expression by cardiomyocytes in vitro; Biomaterials; (2008).

  • Characterization of intracellular Ca2+ transient by the hybrid logistic function in aequorin-injected rabbit and mouse papillary muscles; Journal of Physiological Sciences; (2007).

  • Gene expression profile of bioreactor-cultured cardiac cells: Activation of morphogenetic pathways for tissue engineering; DNA and Cell Biology; (2007).

  • Growth and development in a heliox incubator environment: A long-term safety study; Neonatology; (2007).

  • Growth and development in a heliox incubator environment: a long-term safety study.; Neonatology; (2007).

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  • Dysmorphic neuromuscular junctions associated with motor ability in cerebral palsy; Muscle and Nerve; (2005).

  • Surgery and anesthesia for children who have cerebral palsy; Anesthesiology Clinics of North America; (2005).

  • Exogenous metalloporphyrins alter the organization and function of cultured neonatal rat heart cells via modulation of heme oxygenase activity; Journal of Cellular Physiology; (2004).

  • Tissue Engineering a Heart: Critical Issues; Functional Tissue Engineering; (2003).

  • Neuromuscular Junctions in Cerebral Palsy; Anesthesiology; (2002).

  • Cardiac Tissue; Methods of Tissue Engineering; (2002).

  • Identification of Nucleic Acid Binding Proteins Using Nondenaturing Sodium Decyl Sulfate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDecS-PAGE); Protein Protocols Handbook, The; (2002).

  • Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide Discontinuous Gel Electrophoresis of Proteins: Mr-Based Separation of Proteins with Retained Native Activity; Protein Protocols Handbook, The; (2002).

  • Can tissue engineering mend broken hearts?; Circulation Research; (2002).

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  • Neuromuscular junctions in cerebral palsy: Presence of extrajunctional acetylcholine receptors; Anesthesiology; (2002).

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  • Isolated pancreatic amylase deficiency: Probable error in maturation; Journal of Pediatrics; (2000).

  • Room 220-222, 10/16/2000 9: 00 AM - 10: 30 AM (PD) Neuromuscular Junction in Cerebral Palsy. Presence of Extrajunctional Acetylcholine Receptors; Anesthesiology; (2000).

  • Cardiac organogenesis in vitro: Reestablishment of three-dimensional tissue architecture by dissociated neonatal rat ventricular cells; Tissue Engineering; (1999).

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  • Cardiac organogenesis in vitro: reestablishment of three-dimensional tissue architecture by dissociated neonatal rat ventricular cells.; Tissue engineering; (1999).

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  • Influence of calcium on proliferation and phenotype alteration of cardiomyocyte in vitro; Journal of Cellular Physiology; (1998).

  • Neonatal rat heart cells cultured in simulated microgravity; In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal; (1997).

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  • Atrial natriuretic peptide accelerates proliferation of chick embryonic cardiomyocytes in vitro; Differentiation; (1996).

  • Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide Discontinuous Gel Electrophoresis of Proteins; The Protein Protocols Handbook; (1996).

  • Corrigendum; Molecular Biotechnology; (1995).

  • Ultrafast protein determinations using microwave enhancement; Molecular Biotechnology; (1995).

  • Acetonitrile is better than ethanol as a dehydrating agent for cells prepared for SEM; Proceedings - Annual Meeting, Microscopy Society of America; (1994).

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  • Seperation of proteins using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide discontinuous gel electrophoresis; Molecular Biotechnology; (1994).

  • Transepithelial calcium transport in the chick chorioallantoic membrane. I. Isolation and characterization of chorionic ectoderm cells; Journal of Cell Science; (1993).

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  • Transepithelial calcium transport in the chick chorioallantoic membrane. I. Isolation and characterization of chorionic ectoderm cells.; Journal of cell science; (1993).

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  • Transepithelial calcium transport in the chick chorioallantoic membrane. II. Compartmentalization of calcium during uptake.; Journal of cell science; (1993).

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  • Transepithelial calcium transport in the chick chorioallantoic membrane. II. Compartmentalization of calcium during uptake; Journal of Cell Science; (1993).

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  • Alterations in cellular calcium handling as a result of systemic calcium deficiency in the developing chick embryo: II. Ventricular myocytes; Journal of Cellular Physiology; (1992).

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  • Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide discontinuous gel electrophoresis: Mr-based separation of proteins with retention of enzymatic activity; Analytical Biochemistry; (1992).

  • Measurement of protein in 20 seconds using a microwave BCA assay; BioTechniques; (1992).

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  • Bisphosphonate action: Alendronate localization in rat bone and effects on osteoclast ultrastructure; Journal of Clinical Investigation; (1991).

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  • Experimental studies on cultured, shell-less fowl embryos: calcium transport, skeletal development, and cardio-vascular functions; Egg Incubation; (1991).

  • In vitro study of placental trophoblast calcium uptake using JEG-3 human choriocarcinoma cells; Journal of Cell Science; (1991).

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  • Cryptorchidism in the orl rat is associated with muscle patterning defects in the fetal gubernaculum and altered hormonal signaling; Unknown Source; (0000).