Biomedical Engineering Invited Seminar Speaker

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"Instructive Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Engineering"

Brendan Harley, Sc.D
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Seminar will be made available via videoconference in the Health Sciences Research Building, room E 182 and Technology Enterprise Park, room 104.


 Advances in the field of tissue engineering are increasingly reliant on biomaterials that instruct, rather than simply permit, a desired cellular response. Instructive biomaterials hold significant promise for clinical applications as well as to enable mechanistic studies in the laboratory. As tissues can be dynamic, spatially-patterned, or inhomogeneous over multiple length and time scales, my lab is developing new approaches to engineer biomaterials at the structural and biomolecular level in order to replicate these heterogeneities. These efforts are providing new insight regarding the degree of biomaterial complexity required to instruct cell behavior in the context of development, disease, and regeneration. I will describe a collagen biomaterial under development to address current barriers preventing regeneration of orthopedic insertions such as the osteotendinous (tendon-bone) junction. Here we also use inspiration from nature (e.g., porcupine quills, honeycombs, and plant stems) to better co-optimize bioactivity and mechanical competence. I will subsequently describe a microfluidic forming technique to create libraries of optically translucent hydrogels containing overlapping patterns of cell, matrix, and biomolecule cues. We are using this platform to explore the coordinated impact of cell and matrix signals on (1) niche-mediated regulation of hematopoietic stem cell fate; and (2) malignancy and therapeutic response of human glioblastoma. I will show how these biomaterials can be used as rheostats to regulate processes such as self-renewal vs. differentiation; tissue regeneration and vascularization; and the etiology and malignancy of cancer.


Johnna Temenoff, Ph.D. - faculty host




  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Vickie Okrzesik
  • Created:12/08/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:04/13/2017