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The development of tissues and organs is typically driven by the action of a number of growth factors. However, efforts to regenerate tissues (e.g., bone, blood vessels) typically rely on the delivery of single factors, and this may partially explain the limited clinical utility of many current approaches. One constraint on delivering appropriate(More)
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)
Polymer scaffolds have many different functions in the field of tissue engineering. They are applied as space filling agents, as delivery vehicles for bioactive molecules, and as three-dimensional structures that organize cells and present stimuli to direct the formation of a desired tissue. Much of the success of scaffolds in these roles hinges on finding(More)
Alginate hydrogels are used extensively in cell encapsulation, cell transplantation, and tissue engineering applications. Alginates possess many favorable properties required in biomaterials, but are unable to specifically interact with mammalian cells. We have therefore covalently modified alginate polysaccharides with RGD-containing cell adhesion ligands(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)
Alginate is a biomaterial that has found numerous applications in biomedical science and engineering due to its favorable properties, including biocompatibility and ease of gelation. Alginate hydrogels have been particularly attractive in wound healing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications to date, as these gels retain structural similarity to(More)
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-endopeptidases with multifactorial actions in central nervous system (CNS) physiology and pathology. Accumulating data suggest that MMPs have a deleterious role in stroke. By degrading neurovascular matrix, MMPs promote injury of the blood-brain barrier, edema and hemorrhage. By disrupting cell-matrix signaling and(More)
The identification and production of recombinant morphogens and growth factors that play key roles in tissue regeneration have generated much enthusiasm and numerous clinical trials, but the results of many of these trials have been largely disappointing. Interestingly, the trials that have shown benefit all contain a common denominator, the presence of a(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)