Cellular BioMechanics & BioMaterials
We explore the interaction between cells, their surrounding matrix, and biomaterials for the development of new muskuloskeletal treatment strategies. We design micro-environments that provide specific mechanical, geometrical, and biochemical signals to support and control endogenous healing cascades.
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Physical Cues and Regeneration
Matrix physical properties play an important role in regeneration and disease. We control biomaterial physical properties, such as geometry, stiffness or degradation properties, to modulate cell response and tissue regeneration in-vivo. The hierarchical material structure of newly formed tissue is investigated at multiple length scales.
Curvature-driven endogenous soft matrix guides mineralization in-vivo
Here we use clinically relevant bone regeneration experiments to study how the scaffold mean surface curvature may guide collagen fiber organization and subsequent mineralization in-vivo. This understanding is essential for optimized scaffold design in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Alginate void-forming hydrogels for in-vivo cell recruitment and differentiation
Alginate void-forming hydrogels, with mechanical properties optimized to induce osteogenic cell differentiation, were supplemented with mesenchymal stem cells to attract endogenous cells to the defect site via paracrine effects. The influence of the immune system was investigated using immune compromised vs. immune competent in-vivo models.
Patterned hydrogel degradation to guide cellular response, matrix deposition and in-vivo tissue regeneration
In this project we aim to direct cell migration, matrix deposition and its microstructure through spatial and temporal control of degradation properties of click alginate hydrogels. The ultimate goal is to guide in-vivo tissue regeneration through controlled hydrogel degradation.