Young Innovators in Biomedical Engineering Seminar Featuring Joel Collier

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Joel Collier, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago, will present a lecture on "Peptide Assemblies: From Cell Scaffolds to Immune Adjuvants" as part of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering's Young Innovators in Biomedical Engineering Seminar.

This talk will discuss two interrelated aspects of peptide self-assemblies in biological applications: their use as matrices for regenerative medicine and their use as chemically defined adjuvants for directing immune responses against engineered antigens. In the first half of the presentation, the design of peptide self-assemblies as analogues for the extracellular matrix will be described, with a focus on self-assemblies displaying multiple different cell-binding peptides. We conducted multifactorial investigations of peptide co-assemblies containing several different ligand-bearing peptides using statistical “design of experiments” (DoE). Using the DoE techniques of factorial experimentation and response surface modeling, we systematically explored how precise combinations of ligand-bearing peptides modulated endothelial cell growth, in the process finding interactions between ligands not previously appreciated.

By investigating immune responses against the materials intended for tissue engineering applications, we discovered that the basic self-assembling peptides were minimally immunogenic or nonimmunogenic, even when delivered instrong adjuvants. But when they were appended to an appropriately restricted epitope peptide, these materials raised strong and persistent antibody responses. These responses were dependent on covalent conjugation betweenthe epitope and self-assembling domains of the peptides, were mediated by T cells and could be directed toward both peptide epitopes and conjugated protein antigens. In addition to their demonstrated utility as scaffolds for regenerative medicine, peptide self-assemblies may also be useful as chemically defined adjuvants for vaccines and immunotherapies.

Dr. Collier is being hosted by Tom Barker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Coulter Department. 


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