The Anseth group specializes in developing biomaterial scaffolds with highly-controlled architectures and chemistries for three-dimensional cell culture, tissue regeneration, and biological assays. We are particularly interested in understanding how cells receive information from their surroundings and designing materials that allow us to study these processes.
Our approach exploits classical engineering principles and modeling to control cell behavior on time scales ranging from seconds to months and affecting changes on the molecular and macroscopic scales. The methods we use include the design of biomaterial niches that permit cell function, as well as bioactive environments that dynamically promote or suppress specific cellular responses, including proliferation, differentiation, and extracellular matrix production. Our research spans a spectrum of fundamental studies to better understand the role of biomaterial environments on cell function. We use sophisticated chemical crosslinking schemes to create cell carriers targeted for clinical application, rapid detection of biological molecules, and models to study cellular pathology.