Allen J. Ehrlicher

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Cell movement is a complex phenomenon primarily driven by the actin network beneath the cell membrane, and can be divided into three general components: protrusion of the leading edge of the cell, adhesion of the leading edge and deadhesion at the cell body and rear, and cytoskeletal contraction to pull the cell forward. Each of these steps is driven by(More)
The mechanical properties of a cell determine many aspects of its behavior, and these mechanics are largely determined by the cytoskeleton. Although the contribution of actin filaments and microtubules to the mechanics of cells has been investigated in great detail, relatively little is known about the contribution of the third major cytoskeletal component,(More)
Megakaryocytes generate platelets by remodeling their cytoplasm into long proplatelet extensions, which serve as assembly lines for platelet production. Although the mechanics of proplatelet elongation have been studied, the terminal steps of proplatelet maturation and platelet release remain poorly understood. To elucidate this process, released(More)
Platelet transfusions total >2.17 million apheresis-equivalent units/year in the United States and are derived entirely from human donors despite clinically significant immunogenicity, associated risk of sepsis, and inventory shortages due to high demand and 5-day shelf life. To take advantage of known physiological drivers of thrombopoiesis we have(More)
The actin cytoskeleton is a key element of cell structure and movement whose properties are determined by a host of accessory proteins. Actin cross-linking proteins create a connected network from individual actin filaments, and though the mechanical effects of cross-linker binding affinity on actin networks have been investigated in reconstituted systems,(More)
We present a novel technique to noninvasively control the growth and turning behavior of an extending neurite. A highly focused infrared laser, positioned at the leading edge of a neurite, has been found to induce extension/turning toward the beam's center. This technique has been used successfully to guide NG108-15 and PC12 cell lines [Ehrlicher, A., Betz,(More)
Micrometer-sized hydrogel particles that contain living cells can be fabricated with exquisite control through the use of droplet-based microfluidics and bioinert polymers such as polyethyleneglycol (PEG) and hyperbranched polyglycerol (hPG). However, in existing techniques, the microgel gelation is often achieved through harmful reactions with free(More)
We introduce an approach for forming bilayer polymer membranes by adhesion of amphiphile-laden interfaces. This adhesion is induced by a reduction of solvent quality for the amphiphilic diblock copolymers through selective evaporation of good solvent in the solvent mixture. By combining this membrane formation mechanism with a double-emulsion-templated(More)
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The mechanics of the cellular microenvironment can be as critical as biochemistry in directing cell behavior. Many commonly utilized materials derived from extra-cellular-matrix create excellent scaffolds for cell growth, however, evaluating the relative mechanical and biochemical effects independently in 3D environments has been difficult in frequently(More)