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Growth and differentiation of multicellular systems is orchestrated by spatially restricted gene expression programs in specialized subpopulations. The targeted manipulation of such processes by synthetic tools with high-spatiotemporal resolution could, therefore, enable a deepened understanding of developmental processes and open new opportunities in(More)
Over the last decades, great strides were made in the development of novel implants for the treatment of bone defects. The increasing versatility and complexity of these implant designs request for concurrent advances in means to assess in vivo the course of induced bone formation in preclinical models. Since its discovery, micro-computed tomography(More)
The caging of small molecules has revolutionized biological research by providing a means to regulate a wide range of processes. Here we report on a generic pharmacological method to cage proteins in a similar fashion. The present approach is of value in both fundamental and applied research, e.g. in tissue engineering.
In recent years, lentiviral expression systems have gained an unmatched reputation among the gene therapy community for their ability to deliver therapeutic transgenes into a wide variety of difficult-to-transfect/transduce target tissues (brain, hematopoietic system, liver, lung, retina) without eliciting significant humoral immune responses. We have(More)
Reductionist in vitro model systems which mimic specific extracellular matrix functions in a highly controlled manner, termed artificial extracellular matrices (aECM), have increasingly been used to elucidate the role of cell-ECM interactions in regulating cell fate. To better understand the interplay of biophysical and biochemical effectors in controlling(More)
The physicochemical properties of hydrogels can be manipulated in both space and time through the controlled application of a light beam. However, methods for hydrogel photopatterning either fail to maintain the bioactivity of fragile proteins and are thus limited to short peptides, or have been used in hydrogels that often do not support three-dimensional(More)
OBJECTIVE Iatrogenic preterm premature rupture of membranes (iPPROM), the main complication of invasive interventions in the prenatal period, seriously limits the benefit of diagnostic or surgical prenatal procedures. This study aimed to evaluate preventive plugging of punctured fetal membranes in an ex vivo situation using a new mussel-mimetic tissue(More)
The non-muscular cells that populate the space found between cardiomyocyte fibers are known as 'cardiac interstitial cells' (CICs). CICs are heterogeneous in nature and include different cardiac progenitor/stem cells, cardiac fibroblasts and other cell types. Upon heart damage CICs soon respond by initiating a reparative response that transforms with time(More)
Semi-synthetic, proteolytically degradable polymer hydrogels have proven effective as scaffolds to augment bone and skin regeneration in animals. However, high costs due to expensive peptide building blocks pose a significant hurdle towards broad clinical usage of these materials. Here we demonstrate that tri-amino acid peptides bearing lysine (or(More)
The accurate study of cellular microenvironments is limited by the lack of technologies that can manipulate cells in 3D at a sufficiently small length scale. The ability to build and manipulate multicellular microscopic structures will facilitate a more detailed understanding of cellular function in fields such as developmental and stem cell biology. We(More)