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LAMMP Seminar Video
Engineering Approaches to Regenerative Medicine: Marriage Between Stem Cell Biology and Materials Science
Shyni Varghese, PhD

Stem cells have a significant potential for repairing compromised tissues and treating various diseases. However, before this approach can be translated from the “bench” to the “bedside”, many fundamental biological and engineering challenges need to be overcome that include: ex vivo expansion of stem cells without phenotypic alterations, lineage-specific differentiation of stem cells, and in vivo engraftment of engineered cells or tissues. In this talk, I will present several examples from our lab that demonstrate how the engineering of synthetic bio-inspired matrices and cell-cell interactions can be employed to regulate the maintenance and lineage/tissue specific differentiation of stem cells. In particular, I will talk about our efforts on (i) developing robust and defined synthetic microenvironments for expansion of human pluripotent stem cells which includes both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, (ii) modulating cell-matrix interface to direct differentiation of stem cells, and (iii) specialized co-culture systems to understand the role of proximal somatic cells in determining embryonic cells fate/commitment in the context of musculoskeletal tissues.

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