Faculty Profile

Amy Jaye Wagoner Johnson

Mechanical Science and Engineering
Amy Jaye Wagoner Johnson
Amy Jaye Wagoner Johnson
Associate Professor
128 Mechanical Engineering Bldg
1206 W. Green
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 265-5581


  • Ph.D. Mat. Sci. Brown University 2002
  • M.S. Mat. Sci. Brown University 1998
  • B.S. Mat. Sci. and Eng. The Ohio State University 1996

Academic Positions

  • Affiliate, Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Computing Genomes for Reproductive Health Theme, May 2017-present
  • Associate Professor, Carle-Illinois College of Medicine (0%), inaugural faculty, May 2017-present
  • Associate Professor, Bioengineering (0%), March 2017-present
  • Chair of Excellence, NanoSciences Foundation, Grenoble, France, July 2014-present
  • Core Faculty Member, Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (ReBTE) Theme, August 2013-present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 2012-present
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, November 2010-present
  • Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, UIUC, December 2003￿May 2005
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, May 16, 2005-August 15, 2012

For more information

Research Statement

Loss of bone through trauma or disease can result in life-threatening complications, so repair of such defects is consequently critical to the health and well-being of patients. Professor Wagoner Johnson's work in biomaterials is laying the scientific groundwork for the design of synthetic bone substitute materials and systems that may one day replace bone grafts currently harvested from patients themselves or from donors. Rejection, disease transmission, and other complications associated with the transplantation of human tissue (as well as the limited availability of donor tissue) make synthetic materials attractive candidates for the repair of bone defects.

To develop such bone substitutes, Professor Wagoner Johnson is investigating how cells and tissues interact with or modify their environment, how tissue grows into the substitute and how drug or stem cell delivery can improve bone in-growth. In one highly collaborative project, her group is investigating scaffolds with pore sizes that span multiple lengthscales, from millimeters to nanometers, as bone replacements for large and load-bearing defects. Researchers in the department's dynamics and controls group make the ceramic (hydroxyapatite) scaffolds via rapid prototype deposition, while researchers in Professor Wagoner Johnson's group work to tailor the scaffold's macro- and microstructure to optimize bone in-growth and mechanical properties of the scaffold/bone composite. As they do so, they work with surgeons from the local hospital, Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences to understand and characterize the biological response. The group's preliminary laboratory studies have demonstrated that bone grows more readily into such implants. They believe that tissue infiltrates the microscale pores, which helps to improve mechanical properties of the scaffold in vivo.

The group is also working with researchers at the Indiana School of Medicine on a novel cell-based approach that may make it possible to implant large scaffolds on the order of 10s of centimeters. The size of implants is currently limited by how far the tissues within them are from nutrient-supplying and waste-removing blood vessels. Because living cells cannot survive farther than 150 to 200 microns from a blood supply, cells within large scaffolds typically die before blood vessels from the surrounding tissue can grow into them. By combining two types of stem cells-one from umbilical cord and the other from fat tissue-Professor Wagoner Johnson's group hopes to build blood vessels at the center of the scaffold that can then grow out to connect with vessels outside the scaffold.

Her group also uses a non-destructive imaging technique called Micro-CT, similar to a CAT scan, to understand how bone grows spatially and temporarily into the scaffolds. Such data are used to understand and model the mechanical behavior of the bone/scaffold composites. Students in the group are also developing scaffolds made of a modified form of chitin, the structural material found in the exoskeleton of crustaceans. Gelatin microspheres loaded with a growth factor known to encourage blood vessel growth are built into the scaffolds, which are being developed for the treatment of chronic cutaneous ulcers.

Research Areas

  • Computation and Applied Math
  • Dynamics & Controls
  • Health and Bio
  • Manufacturing
  • Solid Mechanics and Materials

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Woodard, J., A. Hilldore, S. Lan, C. J. Park, A. W. Morgan, J. C. Eurell, S. G. Clark, M. B. Wheeler, R. Jamison, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, ￿The Mechanical Properties and Osteoconductivity of Hydroxyapatite Bone Scaffolds with Multi-scale Porosity,￿ Biomaterials, 28, 45-54, 2007. Listed in the top ten most downloaded June 2007. Cited 456 times as of 6/17 (Google Scholar). As of 2/17, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Materials Science based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year. Data from Essential Science Indicators℠
  • Hoelzle, D., A. G. Alleyne, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, ￿Micro-Robotic Deposition Guidelines by a Design of Experiments Approach to Maximize Process Reliability for the Bone Scaffold Application,￿ Acta Biomaterialia, 4, 897-912, 2008.
  • McIntosh, L., J. Cordell, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, ￿Impact of Bone Geometry on Effective Properties of Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds,￿ Acta Biomaterialia, 5:2,680-692, 2009.
  • Cordell, J., M. Vogl, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, ￿The Influence of Micropore Size on the Mechanical Properties of Bulk Hydroxyapatite and Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds,￿ Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 2:5, 560-570, 2009. Listed in the most cited 25 articles in journal since 2009 (up to at least 12/08/14).
  • Park, C. J., S. G. Clark, C. A. Lichtensteiger, R. D. Jamison, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, ￿Accelerated Wound Closure of Pressure Ulcers in Aged Mice by Chitosan Scaffolds with or without bFGF,￿ Acta Biomaterialia 5:1926-1936, 2009.
  • Lee, J. S., A. Wagoner-Johnson, and W. L. Murphy, "Modular Peptide Growth Factors for Substrate-Mediated Stem Cell Mediated Differentiation," Angewandte Chemie International Edition 121:6384-6387, 2009. Listed as "hot topic" by editor.
  • Lan Levengood, S., S. Polak, M. B. Wheeler, A. Maki, S. G. Clark, R. D. Jamison, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Multiscale Osteointegration as a New Paradigm for Bone Scaffold Design," Biomaterials, 31, 3552-3563, 2010.
  • Lan Levengood, S., S. Polak, M. Poellmann, D. Hoelzle, A. Maki, S. G. Clark, M. B. Wheeler, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "The Effect of BMP-2 on Micro and Macroscale Osteointegration of Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds with Multiscale Porosity," Acta Biomaterialia, 6, 3283￿3291, 2010.
  • Poellmann, M., P. Harrell, W. P. King, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Geometric Microenvironment Directs Cell Morphology on Topographically Patterned Hydrogel Substrates," Acta Biomaterialia, 6,3514￿3523, 2010.
  • Lee, J. S., A. J. Wagoner Johnson, and W.L. Murphy, "A Modular, Hydroxyapatite-binding Version of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor," Advanced Materials,22, 48, 5494￿5498, 2010. Featured for inside cover image.
  • Wagoner Johnson, A. J. and B. A. Herschler, "A Review of the Mechanical Behavior of CaPs and CaP/polymer Composites for Applications in Bone Repair and Replacement," Acta Biomaterialia, 7, 16-30, 2011. Listed in top 25 most cited in the journal since 2009 (as of 12/01/16). As of 2/17, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Materials Science based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year. Data from Essential Science Indicators℠ Cited 318 times as of 6/17 (google scholar).
  • Hoelzle, D. J., A. G. Alleyne, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Basis Task Approach to Iterative Learning Control with Applications to micro-Robotic Deposition," IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 19:5, 1138 - 1148, 2011.
  • Barton, K. L., D. J. Hoelzle, A. G. Alleyne, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Cross Coupled Iterative Learning Control of Systems with Dissimilar Dynamics: Design and Implementation," International Journal of Control, 84:7, 1223 - 1233, 2011.
  • Thorpe, M., R. Valentine, C. Moulton, A. J. Wagoner Johnson, E. Evans, and D. Layman, "Breast Tumors Induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea are Damaging to Bone Strength, Structure and Mineralization in the Absence of Metastasis in Rats," Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 26(4), 769￿776, 2011.
  • Ramachandra Rao, R. A., K. C. Toussaint, and A.J. Wagoner Johnson, "The Effect of Keratoconus on the Structural, Mechanical, and Optical Properties of the Cornea," Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 4, 223-226, 2011. Invited. Top 25 hottest articles in JMBBM for Spring 2011 (April -June).
  • Polak,S. J.,S. K. Lan Levengood, M. B. Wheeler, A. J. Maki, S. G. Clark, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson,"Analysis of the roles of Microporosity and BMP-2 on Multiple Measures of Bone Regeneration and Healing in Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds," Acta Biomaterialia,7(4),1760-1771, 2011.
  • Poellman, M. J., K. L. Barton, S. Mishra, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Patterned Hydrogel Substrates for Cell Culture with Electrohydrodynamic Jet Printing," Macromolecular Bioscience, 11(9), 1164-1168, 2011. Cover for September 2011 issue.
  • Lan Levengood, S., M. Poellmann, S. G. Clark, D. Ingram, M. Yoder, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Human Endothelial Colony Forming Cells Undergo Vasculogenesis within Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Bone Tissue Engineering Constructs," Acta Biomaterialia, 7(12) 4222-4228, 2011.
  • Norato, J. A. and A. J.Wagoner Johnson, "A Computational and Cellular Solids Approach to the Stiffness-based Design of Bone Scaffolds," ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 133(9), 091003-1-091003-8, 2011.
  • Hoelzle, D. J., S. R. Svientek, A. G. Alleyne, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Design and Manufacture of Combinatorial Calcium Phosphate Bone Scaffolds," ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 133(10), 101001, 2011. Most downloaded article for November 2011. Cover for October 2011 issue.
  • Polak, S. J., S. J. Candido, S. K. Lan Levengood, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Automated Segmentation of Micro-CT Images of Bone Formation in Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds," Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, 36, 54-6, 2012.
  • Poellmann, M. J., E. K. Chien, B. L. McFarlin, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Mechanical and Structural Changes of the Rat Cervix in Late-stage Pregnancy," Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 17, 6 6 ￿ 7 5, 2013.
  • Mahmoud, H., A. Wagoner Johnson, B. McFarlin, E. Chien, and M. Poellmann, "System-level biomechanical approach for the evaluation of term and preterm pregnancy maintenance," J Biomech Eng, 135(2):021009, 2013.
  • Lau, T. Y., H. K. Sangha, E. K. Chien, B. L. McFarlin, A. J. Wagoner Johnson, and K. C. Toussaint, "Application of Fourier transform-second-harmonic generation imaging to the rat cervix," Journal of Microscopy, 251(1), 77￿83, 2013.
  • Polak, S. J., L. E. Rustom, G. M. Genin, M. Talcott, and A.J. Wagoner Johnson, "A mechanism for effective cell-seeding in rigid, microporous substrates," Acta Biomaterialia 9, 7977￿7986, 2013.
  • Poellmann, M. J. and A.J. Wagoner Johnson, "A Method to Functionalize Polyacrylamide Substrates for Cell Culture," Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 6(3), 299-309, 2013.
  • Hoelzle, D., A. J. Wagoner Johnson, and A. Alleyne, "A Bumpless Transfer Filter for Exogenous Feedforward Signals," IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 22(4), 1581-1588, 2014.
  • Poellmann, M. J. and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Multimaterial polyacrylamide: fabrication with electrohydrodynamic jet printing, applications, and modeling," Journal of Biofabrication, 6 035018, 2014.
  • Santos, M. P., S. D. Gutierrez-Nibeyro, G. P. Horn, A. J. Wagoner Johnson, M. C. Stewart, and D. J. Schaeffer, "Mechanical properties of various suture materials and placement patterns tested with surrogate in vitro model constructs simulating laryngeal advancement tie-forward procedures in horses," American Journal of Veterinary Research, 75(5), 2014.
  • Poellmann, M. J., J. B. Estrada, T. Boudou, Z. T. Berent, C. Franck, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Differences in morphology and traction generation of cell lines representing different stages of osteogenesis," J Biomech Eng, 137(12), 124503, 2016.
  • Xie, Y., L.E. Rustom, A.M. McDermott, J.D. Boerckel, A.J. Wagoner Johnson, A.G. Alleyne, and D.J. Hoelzle, "Net shape fabrication of calcium phosphate scaffolds with multiple material domains," Biofabrication, 8, 015005, 2016. dx.doi.org/10.1088/1758-5090/8/1/015005.
  • Durgam, S.S., A. A. Stewart, M. Sivaguru, A. J. Wagoner Johnson, and M. C. Stewart, "Tendon-derived progenitor cells improve healing of collagenase-induced flexor tendinitis," Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 34(12), 2162￿2171, 2016. doi: 10.1002/jor.23251.
  • Cho, J., C. Charavaryamath, R.J. Wagner, J. Wei, A.J. Wagoner Johnson, and D.J. Griffon, "Effects of hypoxia and chitosan on umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells," Stem Cells International, vol. 2016, Article ID 2987140, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/2987140
  • Wei, J., B.L. McFarlin, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "A multi-indent approach for surface detection of soft materials during instrumented indentation," Journal of Materials Research, 31(17), 2672-2685, 2016. doi:10.1557/jmr.2016.265
  • Rustom, L.E., T. Boudou, S. Lou, I. Pignot-Paintrand, B. W. Nemke, Y. Lu, M. Markel, C. Picart, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Micropore-induced Capillarity Enhances Bone Distribution in vivo in Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds," Acta Biomaterialia 44, 144-154, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2016.08.025
  • Polak, S.J., J.S. Lee, W.L. Murphy, S. Tadier, L. Gr￿llard, I.V. Lightcap, and A.J. Wagoner Johnson, "Microstructural control of modular peptide release from microporous biphasic calcium phosphate," Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications, 72, 268-277, 2017. doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2016.11.054.
  • Randrianandrasanal, M., W. Y. Wu, D. A. Carney, A. Wagoner Johnson, and M. R. Berenbaum, "Structural and mechanical properties of cocoons of Antherina suraka, an endemic species used for silk production in Madagascar," Journal of Insect Science, 17(1), 1￿8, 2017. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/iew112.
  • Rustom, L. E., T. Boudou, B. W. Nemke, Y. LU, D. J. Hoelzle, M.D. Markel, C. Picart, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, "Multiscale porosity directs bone regeneration in biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds," ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 3, 2768-2778, 2017. Invited for special volume on Multiscale Biological Materials and Systems: Integration of Experiment, Modeling, and Theory. doi:10.1021/acsbiomaterials.6b00632

Invited Lectures

Professional Societies

  • Member, ASME Bioengineering Division Tissue and Cellular Engineering Committee, 2011-2015
  • Member, ASME, 2011-date
  • Member, Society of Engineering Science, 2003-04, 2006-date
  • Member, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), 2006-2007
  • MRS Public Outreach Committee, January 2004-2008
  • Member, The Materials Research Society (MRS), 1998-2010
  • Member, The Minerals Metals and Materials Society (TMS), 1994-2003, 2009-present

Teaching Honors

  • MechSE Two-Year Effective Teaching Award, 2018
  • Campus Award for Guiding Undergraduate Research, 2013
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2012
  • Amy L Devine Recognition Award from Alpha Omega Epsilon for "being a passionate engineering professor and outstanding advisor," 2009.
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2009

Research Honors

  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, 2018
  • Invited Professor, University of Grenoble, 2016-2017
  • Center for Advanced Study Associate (2017-2018)
  • Chair of Excellence (2014-2017), NanoScience Foundation, Grenoble, France
  • Arnold O. Beckman Research Award from the Research Board for "projects of special distinction, special promise, or special resource value," 2011.
  • Alice L. Jee Memorial Award, Sun Valley Workshop on Skeletal Tissue Biology, August 2008