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biomaterials and engineering technologies
Soft (bio)materials, such as polymeric hydrogels, can be designed to recreate certain aspects of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Engineering hydrogel platforms that are mechanically and structurally dynamic allows to probe biological questions and translate our findings to medical applications.
Almost every cell in the body is surrounded by extracellular matrix (ECM), which influences cell function and fate. Our recent studies have shown that within engineered microenvironments, newly secreted (nascent) ECM alters cell-biomaterial interactions. Building upon these observations, we are currently probing several questions related to nascent matrix composition and biophysics.
The pulmonary system presents a complex niche of various cell types, including epithelial and mesenchymal cell populations, and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Understanding the mechanisms behind cell-to-cell and cell-to-ECM interactions is critical towards therapeutic interventions.
Loebel, C., Weiner, A.I., Meiken, M.K., et al., Microstructured hydrogels to guide self-assembly and function of lung alveolospheres, Advanced Materials, in press Loebel, C. et al., Metabolic labelling of secreted matrix to investigate cell-material interactions in tissue engineering and mechanobiology. Nature Protocols, 17:618-648, 2022.
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We are building a culturally and scientifically diverse team of students, trainees and clinicians.
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Our goal is to provide an environment that acknowledges that there are social and racial inequities but each individual has the power to make a change.
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We are enthusiastic about undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees who are interested in joining the group.
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