Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous cell population that have immense therapeutic potential because they can differentiate into various cell types and secrete a wide range of biologics (growth factors, immunomodulatory factors, extracellular vesicles, etc.). Translating MSCs into the clinic though has many challenges from cell scarcity, large amounts of cell death in cell-based therapies, and the influence of cell culture impacting their therapeutic potential. My work in Professor Kristi Anseth’s lab is to utilize biomaterials to protect and control MSCs for regenerative medicine applications. In my first project, I engineered a hydrogel with two cross-links: one to protect MSCs from the harsh forces they experience when injecting them through a needle and a second slow forming cross-link that stabilizes the hydrogel post-injection and allows for biologicals such as MSCs to be further protected. My next projects involve engineering a hydrogel to investigate how transient mechanical properties impact MSCs secretory properties.