Bruce Klitzman

Bruce Klitzman

Associate Professor Emeritus in Surgery

Our overriding interests are in the fields of tissue engineering, wound healing, biosensors, and long term improvement of medical device implantation. My basic research interests are in the area of physiological mechanisms of optimizing substrate transport to tissue. This broad topic covers studies on a whole animal, whole organ, hemorheological, microvascular, cellular, ultrastructural, and molecular level. The current projects include:
1) control of blood flow and flow distribution in the microcirculation,
2) the effects of long-term synthetic and biologic implants on substrate transport to tissues,
3) tissue engineering; combining isolated cells, especially adult stem cells, with biomaterials to form specialized composite structures for implantation, with particular emphasis on endothelial cell physiology and its alteration by isolation and seeding on biomaterials.
4) decreasing the thrombogenicity of synthetic blood vessels and other blood-contacting devices, and improving their overall performance and biocompatibility.
5) reducing tissue damage resulting from abnormal perfusion (e.g., relative ischemia, anoxia, etc.) and therapies which minimize ischemic damage.
6) biosensor function, particularly glucose sensors in normal and diabetics.
7) measurement of tissue blood flow and oxygenation as an indicator of tissue viability and functional potential.
8) development of biocompatible materials for soft tissue reconstruction or augmentation.
9) improving performance of glaucoma drainage devices by directing a more favorable foreign body reaction
10) wound healing; particularly internal healing around foreign materials and the effect and prevention of microbes around implanted devices.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor Emeritus in Surgery
  • Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 0112 Baker House, Trent Dr, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: +1 919 630 7445
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1979

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Founder, Director of Clinical Product Development. VQ Biomedical, LLC. 2023
  • Keynote Speaker. First International Conference on Tattoo Safety. 2013
  • Best Paper Award. Musculoskeletal Infection Society. 2009
  • Invention of the Year, Fashion category. TIME magazine. 2007
  • Best Paper. World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. 2003
  • Chair, Experimental Forum. World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. 2003
  • Invited Keynote Speaker. First World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. 2001
  • Board Member. International Liaison Committee of Microcirculation Societies; 1999-2009. 1999
  • President. The Microcirculatory Society; 1998-1999. 1998
  • Founder. North Carolina Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Society. 1998
  • Chair; Vascular Development in Engineered Tissues. Experimental Biology '98. 1998
  • President. The Microcirculatory Society. 1998
  • Outstanding Paper Award. Society for Biomaterials. 1995
  • Visiting Professor. Chang Gung Memorial School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan. 1994
  • Machiko-Kuno Medical Student Research Award, mentor. UNC Chapel Hill. 1992
  • First Prize, Basic Science. Am. Assoc. Hand Surgery. 1988
  • Chairman, Laser Session. Fourth World Congress for Microcirculation. 1987
  • First Prize, Basic Science Award. Am. Assoc. Hand Surgery. 1986
  • First Prize, Basic Science. Am. Assoc. Hand Surgery. 1986
  • Invited Keynote Speaker. Australia/New Zealand Symposium on Microcirculation. 1983
  • Invited Lecturer. Gordon Research Conference on "Water and Solute Exchange in the Microvasculature". 1982

Courses Taught

  • CELLBIO 493: Research Independent Study
  • BES 301B: Research in BES

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Wang, HN; Register, JK; Fales, AM; Gandra, N; Cho, EH; Boico, A; Palmer, GM; Klitzman, B; Vo-Dinh, T, Surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanosensors for in vivo detection of nucleic acid targets in a large animal model, Nano Research, vol 11 no. 8 (2018), pp. 4005-4016 [10.1007/s12274-018-1982-3] [abs].
  • Reese, AT; Cho, EH; Klitzman, B; Nichols, SP; Wisniewski, NA; Villa, MM; Durand, HK; Jiang, S; Midani, FS; Nimmagadda, SN; O'Connell, TM; Wright, JP; Deshusses, MA; David, LA, Antibiotic-induced changes in the microbiota disrupt redox dynamics in the gut., Elife, vol 7 (2018) [10.7554/eLife.35987] [abs].
  • Ibrahim, M; Bond, J; Medina, MA; Chen, L; Quiles, C; Kokosis, G; Bashirov, L; Klitzman, B; Levinson, H, Characterization of the Foreign Body Response to Common Surgical Biomaterials in a Murine Model., Eur J Plast Surg, vol 40 no. 5 (2017), pp. 383-392 [10.1007/s00238-017-1308-9] [abs].
  • Chien, JS; Mohammed, M; Eldik, H; Ibrahim, MM; Martinez, J; Nichols, SP; Wisniewski, N; Klitzman, B, Injectable Phosphorescence-based Oxygen Biosensors Identify Post Ischemic Reactive Hyperoxia., Sci Rep, vol 7 no. 1 (2017) [10.1038/s41598-017-08490-0] [abs].
  • Schweller, RM; Wu, ZJ; Klitzman, B; West, JL, Stiffness of Protease Sensitive and Cell Adhesive PEG Hydrogels Promotes Neovascularization In Vivo., Ann Biomed Eng, vol 45 no. 6 (2017), pp. 1387-1398 [10.1007/s10439-017-1822-8] [abs].
  • Laux, P; Tralau, T; Tentschert, J; Blume, A; Dahouk, SA; Bäumler, W; Bernstein, E; Bocca, B; Alimonti, A; Colebrook, H; de Cuyper, C; Dähne, L; Hauri, U; Howard, PC; Janssen, P; Katz, L; Klitzman, B; Kluger, N; Krutak, L; Platzek, T; Scott-Lang, V; Serup, J; Teubner, W; Schreiver, I; Wilkniß, E; Luch, A, A medical-toxicological view of tattooing., Lancet, vol 387 no. 10016 (2016), pp. 395-402 [10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60215-X] [abs].
  • Vallejo-Heligon, SG; Brown, NL; Reichert, WM; Klitzman, B, Porous, Dexamethasone-loaded polyurethane coatings extend performance window of implantable glucose sensors in vivo., Acta Biomater, vol 30 (2016), pp. 106-115 [10.1016/j.actbio.2015.10.045] [abs].
  • Register, JK; Fales, AM; Wang, H-N; Norton, SJ; Cho, EH; Boico, A; Pradhan, S; Kim, J; Schroeder, T; Wisniewski, NA; Klitzman, B; Vo-Dinh, T, In vivo detection of SERS-encoded plasmonic nanostars in human skin grafts and live animal models., Anal Bioanal Chem, vol 407 no. 27 (2015), pp. 8215-8224 [10.1007/s00216-015-8939-0] [abs].
  • Jung, Y; Ji, H; Chen, Z; Fai Chan, H; Atchison, L; Klitzman, B; Truskey, G; Leong, KW, Scaffold-free, Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Tissue Engineered Blood Vessels., Sci Rep, vol 5 (2015) [10.1038/srep15116] [abs].
  • Koschwanez, HE; Yap, FY; Klitzman, B; Reichert, WM, In vitro and in vivo characterization of porous poly-L-lactic acid coatings for subcutaneously implanted glucose sensors., J Biomed Mater Res A, vol 87 no. 3 (2008), pp. 792-807 [10.1002/jbm.a.31824] [abs].
  • Prichard, HL; Reichert, W; Klitzman, B, IFATS collection: Adipose-derived stromal cells improve the foreign body response., Stem Cells, vol 26 no. 10 (2008), pp. 2691-2695 [10.1634/stemcells.2008-0140] [abs].
  • Kovach, SJ; Koger, KE; Klitzman, B; Germann, G; Levin, LS, Advantages of minimally invasive, balloon-dissector-assisted tissue expander placement: a clinical and experimental study., Ann Plast Surg, vol 60 no. 1 (2008), pp. 89-97 [10.1097/SAP.0b013e318052ac32] [abs].
  • Hetrick, EM; Prichard, HL; Klitzman, B; Schoenfisch, MH, Reduced foreign body response at nitric oxide-releasing subcutaneous implants., Biomaterials, vol 28 no. 31 (2007), pp. 4571-4580 [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2007.06.036] [abs].
  • Baccarani, A; Yasui, K; Olbrich, KC; El-Sabbagh, A; Kovach, S; Follmar, KE; Erdmann, D; Levin, LS; Stamler, JS; Klitzman, B; Zenn, MR, Efficacy of ethyl nitrite in reversing surgical vasospasm., J Reconstr Microsurg, vol 23 no. 5 (2007), pp. 257-262 [10.1055/s-2007-985206] [abs].
  • Norton, LW; Koschwanez, HE; Wisniewski, NA; Klitzman, B; Reichert, WM, Vascular endothelial growth factor and dexamethasone release from nonfouling sensor coatings affect the foreign body response., J Biomed Mater Res A, vol 81 no. 4 (2007), pp. 858-869 [10.1002/jbm.a.31088] [abs].
  • Follmar, KE; Prichard, HL; DeCroos, FC; Wang, HT; Levin, LS; Klitzman, B; Olbrich, KC; Erdmann, D, Combined bone allograft and adipose-derived stem cell autograft in a rabbit model., Ann Plast Surg, vol 58 no. 5 (2007), pp. 561-565 [10.1097/] [abs].
  • Prichard, HL; Reichert, WM; Klitzman, B, Adult adipose-derived stem cell attachment to biomaterials., Biomaterials, vol 28 no. 6 (2007), pp. 936-946 [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.09.012] [abs].
  • Heitmann, C; Khan, FN; Erdmann, D; Olbrich, KC; Adam Sharkawy, A; Klitzman, B, Vein graft anastomoses with magnets., J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg, vol 60 no. 12 (2007), pp. 1296-1301 [10.1016/j.bjps.2006.10.017] [abs].
  • Lanzen, J; Braun, RD; Klitzman, B; Brizel, D; Secomb, TW; Dewhirst, MW, Direct demonstration of instabilities in oxygen concentrations within the extravascular compartment of an experimental tumor., Cancer Res, vol 66 no. 4 (2006), pp. 2219-2223 [10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-03-2958] [abs].
  • Ko, J; Ross, J; Awad, H; Hurwitz, H; Klitzman, B, The effects of ZD6474, an inhibitor of VEGF signaling, on cutaneous wound healing in mice., J Surg Res, vol 129 no. 2 (2005), pp. 251-259 [10.1016/j.jss.2005.05.006] [abs].
  • Nablo, BJ; Prichard, HL; Butler, RD; Klitzman, B; Schoenfisch, MH, Inhibition of implant-associated infections via nitric oxide release., Biomaterials, vol 26 no. 34 (2005), pp. 6984-6990 [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.05.017] [abs].
  • Chan, BP; Liu, W; Klitzman, B; Reichert, WM; Truskey, GA, In vivo performance of dual ligand augmented endothelialized expanded polytetrafluoroethylene vascular grafts., J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater, vol 72 no. 1 (2005), pp. 52-63 [10.1002/jbm.b.30114] [abs].
  • Sorg, BS; Peltz, CD; Klitzman, B; Dewhirst, MW, Method for improved accuracy in endogenous urea recovery marker calibrations for microdialysis in tumors., J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods, vol 52 no. 3 (2005), pp. 341-349 [10.1016/j.vascn.2005.05.004] [abs].
  • Dai, Q; Huang, J; Klitzman, B; Dong, C; Goldschmidt-Clermont, PJ; March, KL; Rokovich, J; Johnstone, B; Rebar, EJ; Spratt, SK; Case, CC; Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, Engineered zinc finger-activating vascular endothelial growth factor transcription factor plasmid DNA induces therapeutic angiogenesis in rabbits with hindlimb ischemia., Circulation, vol 110 no. 16 (2004), pp. 2467-2475 [10.1161/01.CIR.0000145139.53840.49] [abs].
  • Erdmann, D; Pippen, AM; Moquin, KJ; Sweis, R; Niklason, LE; Levin, LS; Olbrich, KC; Klitzman, B, Immunohistochemical identification of vascular endothelial growth factor in pig latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flaps following ischemia-reperfusion injury., Ann Plast Surg, vol 53 no. 4 (2004), pp. 398-403 [10.1097/] [abs].
  • Erdmann, D; Sweis, R; Heitmann, C; Yasui, K; Olbrich, KC; Levin, LS; Sharkawy, AA; Klitzman, B, Side-to-side sutureless vascular anastomosis with magnets., J Vasc Surg, vol 40 no. 3 (2004), pp. 505-511 [10.1016/j.jvs.2004.05.026] [abs].
  • Wong, MS; Erdmann, D; Sweis, R; Pöllmann, C; Farrar, M; Georgiade, GS; Levin, LS; Olbrich, KC; Klitzman, B, Basic fibroblast growth factor expression following surgical delay of rat transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps., Plast Reconstr Surg, vol 113 no. 7 (2004), pp. 2030-2036 [10.1097/01.prs.0000122217.16985.52] [abs].
  • Erdmann, D; Sweis, R; Wong, MS; Niklason, LE; du Laney, TV; Levin, LS; Klitzman, B; Olbrich, KC, Vascular endothelial growth factor expression in pig latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps after ischemia reperfusion injury., Plast Reconstr Surg, vol 111 no. 2 (2003), pp. 775-780 [10.1097/01.PRS.0000041534.99907.75] [abs].
  • Sachse, RE; Fink, SA; Klitzman, B, Multimodality evaluation of pressure relief surfaces., Plast Reconstr Surg, vol 102 no. 7 (1998), pp. 2381-2387 [10.1097/00006534-199812000-00017] [abs].
  • Sachse, RE; Fink, SA; Klitzman, B, Comparison of supine and lateral positioning on various clinically used support surfaces., Ann Plast Surg, vol 41 no. 5 (1998), pp. 513-518 [10.1097/00000637-199811000-00011] [abs].
  • Klitzman, B; Kalinowski, C; Glasofer, SL; Rugani, L, Pressure ulcers and pressure relief surfaces., Clin Plast Surg, vol 25 no. 3 (1998), pp. 443-450 [abs].
  • Sharkawy, AA; Klitzman, B; Truskey, GA; Reichert, WM, Engineering the tissue which encapsulates subcutaneous implants. I. Diffusion properties., J Biomed Mater Res, vol 37 no. 3 (1997), pp. 401-412 [10.1002/(sici)1097-4636(19971205)37:3<401::aid-jbm11>;2-e] [abs].
  • Ritter, EF; Kim, YB; Reischl, HP; Serafin, D; Rudner, AM; Klitzman, B, Heparin coating of vascular prostheses reduces thromboemboli., Surgery, vol 122 no. 5 (1997), pp. 888-892 [10.1016/s0039-6060(97)90329-9] [abs].
  • Ritter, EF; Axelrod, M; Minn, KW; Eades, E; Rudner, AM; Serafin, D; Klitzman, B, Modulation of ultraviolet light-induced epidermal damage: beneficial effects of tocopherol., Plast Reconstr Surg, vol 100 no. 4 (1997), pp. 973-980 [10.1097/00006534-199709001-00021] [abs].
  • Viscardi, PJ; Page, EA; Clark, HG; Serafin, D; Klitzman, B, Iloprost in alginate decreases the thrombogenicity of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene., J Reconstr Microsurg, vol 13 no. 4 (1997), pp. 303-306 [10.1055/s-2007-1000240] [abs].
  • Klitzman, B, Rheology and the regulation of oxygen delivery., Microsurgery, vol 15 no. 6 (1994), pp. 369-373 [10.1002/micr.1920150603] [abs].