When 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Feb 12, 2016
Where 1670 Beyster Building
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Engineering Matrix based Platforms for In Vitro Models of Living Tissues


Srivatsan Kidambi
Department of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Engineering in vitro models that reproduce tissue microenvironment and mimic functions and responses of tissues that is more physiologically relevant represents a potential bridge to cover the gap between animal models and clinical studies. Our group aims to engineer in vitro models of tissues including cancer, liver, and brain in an effort to understand the role of the tissue microenvironment (physical attributes, cell-cell communication, and ligand density) on the underlying biology of healthy and diseased tissues. These platforms provide an ideal model to delineate the critical but unexplored areas of tissue microenvironment in which the cells reside. Specifically, we have developed matrix-based platforms that recreate the various components of the tissue microenvironment. These components include controlling the cell-cell interactions using patterned co-cultures and recreating the mechanical properties of tissues to provide a snapshot of physiologically relevant stages of the tissues in healthy and disease state. Since tissue function is highly dependent on architecture, we have also used microfabrication methods, such as photolithography and molding, to regulate the architecture of these platforms. Using this strategy we have developed in situ models of breast cancer, liver, and brain. We have also developed clinically translatable nano-size liposome based drug delivery systems for encapsulating drugs ranging from high molecular weight proteins to small nucleic acids including miRNA, which regulates pathways important for disease progression and control. The technologies developed in in our lab will have tremendous potential applications in the treatment of various diseases including cancer, liver fibrosis, traumatic brain injury, and development of several classes of therapeutic compounds (drugs, biologics).

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