The goal of my project is to improve our understanding of how human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) receive information from their microenvironments. Topographic cues have been shown to influence cell adhesion, motility, proliferation, gene expression, protein expression and differentiation of hMSCs; however, all of these studies were performed under static conditions. In order to better recapitulate the dynamic nature of the extracellular matrix (ECM), dynamically tunable, precisely engineered topographic cues will be created in a photolabile, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogel with an entrapped ECM protein, such as fibronectin, to promote cell attachment. Feature geometries, spatial arrangements and the temporal presentation of topographic cues will be investigated for promotion of osteogenic differentiation. Photo-degradable linkages in the hydrogel scaffold can be used to create, remove, or alter topographic features in real-time while hMSCs are cultured on the surface. Changing scaffold surface structure in real-time will allow us to advance our understanding of the mechanisms for how topography influences hMSC differentiation. The versatility of this polymer system and approach allows us to conduct unique experiments for hMSC culture and improve our understanding of material systems that can be easily tailored for tissue regeneration applications based on stem cell delivery or homing.
Kirschner, Chelsea M. and Kristi S. Anseth. Hydrogels in Healthcare: From Static to Dynamic Material Microenvironments. Acta Materialia. 61(3), 931-944 (2013).
Kirschner, Chelsea M. and Kristi S. Anseth. In Situ Control of Cell Substrate Microtopographies Using Photolabile Hydrogels. Small. 9(4), 578-584 (2013).
Kirschner, Chelsea M. and Brennan, Anthony B., Bio-Inspired Antifouling Strategies. Annual Reviews of Materials Research. 42(1), 211-229 (2012).
Magin, Chelsea M., Finlay, John A., Clay, Gemma, Callow, Maureen E., Callow, James A., and Brennan, Anthony B., Antifouling Performance of Crosslinked Hydrogels: Refinement of an Attachment Model. Biomacromolecules 12(4), 915-922 (2011).
Magin, Chelsea M., Long, Christopher J., Cooper, Scott P., Ista, Linnea K., Lopez, Gabriel P., and Brennan, Anthony B., Engineered Antifouling Microtopographies: The role of Reynolds number in a model that predicts attachment of zoospores ofUlvaand cells ofCobetiamarina. Biofouling26(6), 719-727 (2010).