When 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Apr 03, 2015
Where 1670 Beyster Building
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Engineering Injectable Hydrogels to Alter Biological and Mechanical Signals after Infarction

Jason Burdick
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Bioengineering
Heart disease is a major clinical problem in the United States and post myocardial infarction (MI), left ventricular (LV) remodeling ensues and leads to geometric changes that result in dilation and thinning of the myocardial wall.  This increases stress in the infarct and healthy tissue and can ultimately result in heart failure.  Injectable biomaterials are being investigated to address this clinical problem, including to alter stresses in the infarct region when injected as an array and to deliver biologics, such as stem cells and biomolecules.  We are interested in a class of injectable hydrogels based on the molecule hyaluronic acid (HA).  HA is found during cardiac development and is involved in numerous biological functions, such as morphogenesis and wound healing, and importantly, can be modified with reactive groups (e.g., methacrylates) to form hydrogels.  The tunability in hydrogel properties allows us to investigate how material properties (e.g., mechanics and degradation) influence the ability of injectable HA hydrogels to alter stress profiles and LV remodeling and to deliver therapeutic molecules (e.g., stromal-derived factor 1-alpha and TIMP-3, to alter progenitor cell homing to and matrix remodeling within infarcts, respectively).  One example includes the injection of materials that delivery protease inhibitors based on protease activity, providing a feed-back mechanism to delivery therapeutics.  Most recently, we are designing self-assembling and shear-thinning hydrogels for percutaneous delivery to the heart.  Our ability to design materials with controlled properties and degradation is allowing us to investigate how engineered hydrogels can be used to alter cardiac outcomes by adjusting endogenous signals.

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