Our lab modifies surface chemistry using various techniques, such as grafted polymer networks and oxygen plasma treatment, to create platforms for studying cell/interface and cell/cell interactions. These surfaces are used for cellular patterning, cell shape control, ligand conjugation and presentation, and cell adhesion and mechano-transduction studies.
Our lab engineers three-dimensional, polymer-based scaffolds to mimic the natural extracellular matrix by providing biological, chemical, and mechanical cues to cells. These scaffolds are designed for tissue repair in various organ systems. Scaffold systems used include hydrogels, electrospun fibers, and interpenetrating polymer networks.
Current research in our lab on human induced pluripotent stem cells is focused on developing artificial and well-defined cell culture protocols. Elimination of animal products in cell culture is a critical step in the maintenance and directed differentiation of potential therapeutic cell lines.
Drug discovery and development is hampered by high failure rates attributed to the reliance on non-human animal models employed during safety and efficacy testing. Here, we try to establish in vitro models of human cardiac and liver tissue. We propose to use a combination of integrated microfluidic systems with electrical and optical detection capability, dynamic controls, and advanced biomaterials to regulate structural organization function of cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes. In collaboration with Professor Luke Lee.