Multifunctional PEG thiol and thioester norbornene macromers rapidly form hydrogels via the photoinitiated thiol-ene polymerization.

Phototunable Viscoelasticity in Hydrogels Through Thioester Exchange

Feb. 26, 2020

Mechanical cues are delivered to resident cells by the extracellular matrix and play an important role in directing cell processes, ranging from embryonic development and cancer metastasis to stem cell differentiation. Recently, cellular responses to viscoelastic and elastic mechanical cues have been studied; however, questions remain as to how cells...

Kristi Anseth

Anseth earns international recognition with L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science award

Feb. 18, 2020

CU Boulder Professor Kristi Anseth has received one of the most prestigious recognitions in the life sciences: a L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science award. Anseth, a distinguished professor and Tisone professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is being recognized for her “outstanding contribution in converging engineering and...

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Relaxation of Extracellular Matrix Forces Directs Crypt Formation and Architecture in Intestinal Organoids

Jan. 31, 2020

Intestinal organoid protocols rely on the use of extracellular scaffolds, typically Matrigel, and upon switching from growth to differentiation promoting media, a symmetry breaking event takes place. During this stage, the first bud like structures analogous to crypts protrude from the central body and differentiation ensues. While organoids provide unparalleled...

 Generation of varied porous scaffolds using clickable microgel building blocks

Porous bio-click microgel scaffolds control hMSC interactions and promote their secretory properties

Dec. 31, 2019

Human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs) are known to secrete numerous cytokines that signal to endogenous cells and aid in tissue regeneration. However, the role that biomaterial scaffolds can play in controlling hMSC secretory properties has been less explored. Here, microgels were co-assembled with hMSCs using three different microgel populations, with...

Microgels provide numerous design parameters that can be tuned for various cell culture applications

Designing Microgels for Cell Culture and Controlled Assembly of Tissue Microenvironments

Dec. 31, 2019

Micrometer‐sized hydrogels, termed microgels, are emerging as multifunctional platforms that can recapitulate tissue heterogeneity in engineered cell microenvironments. The microgels can function as either individual cell culture units or can be assembled into larger scaffolds. In this manner, individual microgels can be customized for single or multicell coculture applications, or...

Representation of defect bridging measures.

Thiol‐ene hydrogels for local delivery of PTH for bone regeneration in critical size defects

Nov. 22, 2019

Neither allograft nor commercially available bone graft substitutes provide the same quality of bone healing as autograft. Incorporation of bioactive molecules like PTH within bone graft substitute materials may provide similar, if not better treatment options to grafting. The goal of this work was to develop a biomaterial system for...


Soft Materials for Studying Hard Biological Problems

Nov. 22, 2019

Our group focuses on the development of biomaterial matrices that can serve as advanced culture systems or in vivo delivery systems for primary cells. We exploit material chemistry as a tool to decipher how cells process signals from the extracellular matrix (ECM), and then use this information to design improved...

Structure of the 8‐arm, 20 000 g mol−1 PEG‐Ant used in this study.

PEG–Anthracene Hydrogels as an On‐Demand Stiffening Matrix To Study Mechanobiology

Oct. 31, 2019

There is a growing interest in materials that can dynamically change their properties in the presence of cells to study mechanobiology. Herein, we exploit the 365 nm light mediated [4+4] photodimerization of anthracene groups to develop cytocompatible PEG‐based hydrogels with tailorable initial moduli that can be further stiffened. A hydrogel formulation...

Representative Neo-Hookean material model fit to the moment-displacement data of an (A) unseeded 5 kPa hydrogel and a 5 kPa AVIC-hydrogel specimen under (B) non-contractile (70 % methanol), (C) normal (5 mM KCl), and (D) hypertensive (90 mM KCl) conditions.

Quantifying heart valve interstitial cell contractile state using highly tunable poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels.

Oct. 31, 2019

Valve interstitial cells (VIC) are the primary cell type residing within heart valve tissues. In many valve pathologies, VICs become activated and will subsequently profoundly remodel the valve tissue extracellular matrix (ECM). A primary indicator of VIC activation is the upregulation of α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) stress fibers, which in...

Influence of substrate modulus on YAP nuclear localization and AcK modification

Extended Exposure to Stiff Microenvironments Leads to Persistent Chromatin Remodeling in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Oct. 31, 2019

Bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a promising cell source for regenerative therapies; however, ex vivo expansion is often required to achieve clinically useful cells numbers. Recent results reveal that when MSCs are cultured in stiff microenvironments, their regenerative capacity can be altered in a manner that...