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April 24, 2013


Dr. Jennifer West
Fitzpatrick Family University Professor of Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

"Biomimetic Materials to Control and Manipulate Cells"
4:10 pm, 134 Featheringill Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 pm, Featheringill Atrium

Abstract:  The West Lab has worked extensively in the development of surfaces and 3D scaffold materials that provide a high degree of control over cell adhesion and signaling events.  These materials support very low levels of protein adsorption, and thus cell-material interactions are restricted to those intentionally engineered into the material design.  Hydrogel scaffold materials have also been developed that are degraded in response to cellular proteolytic activity.  This allows materials to degrade in response to cell activities such as migration rather than continuous hydrolysis as is seen in common polyesters.  We have also developed patterning technologies in both 2D and 3D to allow spatial control over cell-material interactions.  Image-guided laser scanning lithography has allowed us to recapitulate cellular focal adhesion complexes to control and manipulate cytoskeletal architecture of cells seeded on these patterned surfaces.  Two-photon laser scanning lithography allows 3D micropatterning of covalently immobilized peptides and proteins in hydrogels to guide cell migration and network assembly.

Host:  Hak-Joon Sung

Vanderbilt University