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Regenerative medicine has rapidly evolved over the past decade owing to its potential applications to improve human health. Targeted differentiations of stem cells promise to regenerate a variety of tissues and/or organs despite significant challenges. Recent studies have demonstrated the vital role of the physical microenvironment in regulating stem cell(More)
Cell-based biosensors (CBBs) have emerged as promising biotechnical tools whereby various cell types can be used as basic sensing units to detect external stimuli. Specifically, CBBs have been applied in environmental monitoring, drug screening, clinical diagnosis and biosecurity. For these applications, CBBs offer several advantages over conventional(More)
We presented a benchtop technique that can fabricate reconfigurable, three-dimensional (3D) microfluidic devices made from a soft paper-polymer composite. This fabrication approach can produce microchannels at a minimal width of 100 μm and can be used to prototype 3D microfluidic devices by simple bending and stretching. The entire fabrication process can(More)
Cell mechanical microenvironment (CMM) significantly affects cell behaviors such as spreading, migration, proliferation and differentiation. However, most studies on cell response to mechanical stimulation are based on two-dimensional (2D) planar substrates, which cannot mimic native three-dimensional (3D) CMM. Accumulating evidence has shown that there is(More)
Autapse is an unusual type of synapse generated by a neuron on itself. The ability to monitor axonal growth of single neurons and autapse formation in three-dimensions (3D) may provide fundamental information relating to many cellular processes, such as axonal development, synaptic plasticity and neural signal transmission. However, monitoring such growth(More)
Cell alignment plays a critical role in various cell behaviors including cytoskeleton reorganization, membrane protein relocation, nucleus gene expression, and ECM remodeling. Cell alignment is also known to exert significant effects on tissue regeneration (e.g., neuron) and modulate mechanical properties of tissues including skeleton, cardiac muscle and(More)
Cardiac myofibroblast differentiation, as one of the most important cellular responses to heart injury, plays a critical role in cardiac remodeling and failure. While biochemical cues for this have been extensively investigated, the role of mechanical cues, e.g., extracellular matrix stiffness and mechanical strain, has also been found to mediate cardiac(More)
Natural cellular microenvironment consists of spatiotemporal gradients of multiple physical (e.g. extracellular matrix stiffness, porosity and stress/strain) and chemical cues (e.g. morphogens), which play important roles in regulating cell behaviors including spreading, proliferation, migration, differentiation and apoptosis, especially for pathological(More)
Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease negatively affecting up to 15% of adults worldwide. Periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) hold great promises for periodontal tissue regeneration, where it is necessary to find proper extracellular matrix (ECM) materials (e.g., composition, concentration). In this study, we proposed a bioprinting-based approach to(More)
A chemomechanical theory is proposed to describe the dynamic behavior and response time of ionic gels. The large deformation of these gels accompanied by the migration of mobile ions is driven by a common non-equilibrium chemical reaction. The theoretical model was validated using existing experimental data. Further investigations showed that the dynamic(More)