When 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Oct 03, 2014
Where 1670 Beyster Building
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Two-dimensional (2D) Nanomaterials for Stem Cells-based Functional Tissue Engineering

Akhilesh K. Gaharwar
Texas A&M University, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Engineering complex tissues that can mimics or stimulates native tissue functions hold enormous promise in treating organ failures resulting from injuries, ageing, and diseases. Our inability to mimicking the complex tissue architecture, providing necessary cellular microenvironment, and communicating with biological entities, are some of the challenges that need to be addressed to control the formation of functional tissues. Designing advanced biomaterials with controlled physical, chemical and biological properties can be beneficial to facilitate the formation of specific functional tissues. Recently, different types of scaffolds are used to control the cell-matrix interactions. Among them, nanocomposite scaffolds are one of the promising candidates as it can mimic physical, chemical and biological properties of most of the tissues. We propose to introduce two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials to control stem cell differentiation for functional tissue engineering. 2D nanomaterials (such as synthetic silicates and graphene) are a novel class of ultrathin nanomaterials, with a high degree of anisotropy and functionality; 2D nanomaterials exhibit great potential in the field of regenerative medicine. 2D nanomaterials interact with biological entities in a substantially different manner than their respective 3D nano-, micro-, and macro- counter parts because of their high surface to volume ratio. Our lab is developing a range of bioactive and responsive nanocomposites from 2D silicates nanomaterials and natural/synthetic polymers to promote in vitro differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). By controlling the interactions between polymer and 2D nanomaterials, elastomeric soft and mechanically stiff scaffolds can be fabricated to mimic native tissue properties. Moreover, 2D silicates nanomaterials are highly bioactive and can promote in vitro osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in the absence of any osteoinductive factor such as bone morphogenetic proteins-2 (BMP-2) or dexamethasone in 2D and 3D microenvironment. The impetus for introducing these 2D silicates nanomaterials-based composites for biological applications is due to the urgent unmet needs for bioactive materials for therapeutic applications, in the field of regenerative medicine. We believe that these highly bioactive 2D silicates nanomaterials may be utilized to develop devices such as injectable tissue repair matrixes, bioactive fillers, or therapeutic agents for stimulating specific cellular responses in bone-related tissue engineering.

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