BME Seminar Series: James H. Henderson, Ph.D.
Active Cell Culture Substrates for the Study of Mechanobiology
Syracuse Biomaterials Institute and Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University
What new knowledge and breakthroughs would become possible if the extracellular matrices used to investigate cell biomechanics and mechanobiology could be programmed to change mechanical properties on an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, or even second-by-second basis? As engineered in vitro environments become more accurate biochemical and biophysical models of in vivo environments, the critical next step for many areas of cell biomechanics and mechanobiology will be incorporation of programmed dynamic physical functionality into the environments.
Motivated by the potential to improve human health through tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, we have been investigating programmable materials for the study and application of mechanobiology. This talk will present ongoing work on programmable cell culture substrates, which we refer to as active cell culture substrates. These substrates, which exploit the functionality of shape memory polymers, can be programmed to change surface topography during cell culture.
The results to be presented demonstrate control of cell behavior through shape-memory-activated topographic changes and introduce the use of active cell culture substrates for investigation of mechanotransduction, cell biomechanical function, and cell soft-matter physics. The talk will discuss the potential for these new approaches to be extended to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.