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Stem cell fate is influenced by a number of factors and interactions that require robust control for safe and effective regeneration of functional tissue. Coordinated interactions with soluble factors, other cells, and extracellular matrices define a local biochemical and mechanical niche with complex and dynamic regulation that stem cells sense.(More)
Hydrogels are used as scaffolds for tissue engineering, vehicles for drug delivery, actuators for optics and fluidics, and model extracellular matrices for biological studies. The scope of hydrogel applications, however, is often severely limited by their mechanical behaviour. Most hydrogels do not exhibit high stretchability; for example, an alginate(More)
Physical stimuli play critical roles in the development, regeneration, and pathology of many mesenchymal tissues, most notably bone. While mature bone cells, such as osteoblasts and osteocytes, are clearly involved in these processes, the role of their progenitors in mechanically mediated tissue responses is unknown. In this study, we investigated the(More)
Lymph node stromal cells (LNSCs) closely regulate immunity and self-tolerance, yet key aspects of their biology remain poorly elucidated. Here, comparative transcriptomic analyses of mouse LNSC subsets demonstrated the expression of important immune mediators, growth factors and previously unknown structural components. Pairwise analyses of ligands and(More)
Embryonic skeletogenesis involves proliferation, condensation and subsequent chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal precursor cells, and the strains and stresses inherent to these processes have been hypothesized to influence skeletal development. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of growth-mimicking strain on the process of early(More)
Polymeric matrices can be used to grow new tissues and organs, and the delivery of growth factors from these matrices is one method to regenerate tissues. A problem with engineering tissues that exist in a mechanically dynamic environment, such as bone, muscle and blood vessels, is that most drug delivery systems have been designed to operate under static(More)
Stem cells sense and respond to the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix. However, both the extent to which extracellular-matrix mechanics affect stem-cell fate in three-dimensional microenvironments and the underlying biophysical mechanisms are unclear. We demonstrate that the commitment of mesenchymal stem-cell populations changes in response(More)
Microenvironmental conditions control tumorigenesis and biomimetic culture systems that allow for in vitro and in vivo tumor modeling may greatly aid studies of cancer cells' dependency on these conditions. We engineered three-dimensional (3D) human tumor models using carcinoma cells in polymeric scaffolds that recreated microenvironmental characteristics(More)
Biomaterials, traditionally defined as materials used in medical devices, have been used since antiquity, but recently their degree of sophistication has increased significantly. Biomaterials made today are routinely information rich and incorporate biologically active components derived from nature. In the future, biomaterials will assume an even greater(More)
Porous biomaterials have been widely used as scaffolds in tissue engineering and cell-based therapies. The release of biological agents from conventional porous scaffolds is typically governed by molecular diffusion, material degradation, and cell migration, which do not allow for dynamic external regulation. We present a new active porous scaffold that can(More)