December 3, 2013
Kristi Anseth will present the group's work on dynamic cell scaffolds in a talk entitled "Dynamic Cell Scaffolds through Photochemical Reactions" at 1:30 PM on December 3rd in the Back Bay B room on the secon floor of the Sheridan. She hopes to see you all there! The abstract is pasted below.
A better understanding of the physical and biomolecular cues in the stem cell niche has led to a growing interest in the development of material systems for improved 3D culture environments, as well as delivery vehicles to promote cell survival and differentiation. As a result, hydrogels based on both protein components (e.g., collagen and Matrigel) and highly-tunable synthetic chemistries (e.g., PEG) have evolved to address many of these needs. However, as advances in real-time tracking of dynamic cellular functions have emerged, complementary approaches to alter the surrounding extracellular environment in a user-defined and highly-controlled fashion are needed. Such materials systems have the potential to significantly improve our understanding of how cells receive information from their microenvironment and the role that these dynamic processes may play in biological questions related to their differentiation. Towards the goal of developing dynamically tunable scaffolds, this talk will highlight several approaches for in situ hydrogel property manipulation with light, allowing intimate control of a cell’s microenvironment in both time and space. The synthesis and characterization of gels with photolabile linkers (e.g., nitrobenzyl ether) and photoconjugation reactions (e.g., thiol-ene) will be discussed, along with more recent developments in photoreversible reactions (e.g., addition fragmentation chain transfer reactions). These photoactive hydrogels afford unique user-defined manipulation of the biochemical and biomechanical nature of the extracellular microenvironment. This talk will present several examples where user-triggered changes in the material environment can be used to study study and direct human mesenchymcal stem cell function and by modifying the local hydrogel environment.