University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Bioengineering Seminar Series > Engineering Biomaterials to Enhance Stem Cell-based Tissue Regeneration: from 'outside-in' and from 'inside-out'

Engineering Biomaterials to Enhance Stem Cell-based Tissue Regeneration: from 'outside-in' and from 'inside-out'

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Stem cells are attractive cell sources for tissue regeneration due to their unique capacity of differentiation, as well as their ability to contribute to tissue repair via paracrine signaling. Unlike conventional biologics and drugs, stem cells are natural “biological sensors” and can dynamically change their fates and paracrine signals in response to the niche stimuli. In addition, stem cell have been reported to possess homing capacity towards multiple wound signals such as inflammation, ischemia, and cancer. On one hand, the unique ability of stem cells to dynamically sense and alter phenotype in response to niche signals poses a great challenge for controlling stem cell fate towards desirable fates in situ after transplantation. On the other hand, if harnessed appropriately, the unique ability of stem cells to migrate towards wound site and produce paracrine signals in response to wound site can be a great blessing for promoting tissue regeneration. In this talk, I will discuss examples of our research on how to employ biomaterials to engineer stem cells from “outside-in” by developing novel hydrogels with macroporosity or molecular mobility to enhance desirable cell fates and tissue formation, or from inside-out by harnessing stem cells as drug delivery vehicles to catalyze tissue regeneration or eradicate infiltrating cancer cells. Potential applications for treating musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer will be demonstrated using relevant animal models.

This talk is part of the Bioengineering Seminar Series series.

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