The Panitch lab research has focused on the extracellular matrix (ECM) and how matrix signals affect tissue regeneration, including nerve regeneration, wound healing and angiogenesis, cartilage and vascular. More recently, the lab has focused on the proteoglycan component of the ECM. Proteoglycans are critical components of tissue function. They influence matrix organization, the viscoelastic properties of the matrix, access of enzymes to the matrix and serve as a protective barrier as in the case of the glycocalyx. Proteoglycans are difficult to synthesize because of the complex post translational modifications and the complexity of carbohydrate chemistry. The Panitch laboratory has demonstrated that proteoglycan function can largely be recapitulated by conjugating short, bioactive peptide sequences to GAGs. The peptide sequences direct the GAG to its target and ensure that it is held in place, similarly to how native proteoglycans function. The lab has used proteoglycan mimetic strategies to develop therapeutics to treat osteoarthritis, improve wound healing, and treat diseased blood vessels.