The Distinguished Lecture Series highlights world-class researchers in nanobiology, biomaterials, biosensors, biophotonics, microfluidics, molecular imaging and biomolecular engineering. The talks are intended to stimulate new activities at the life science-materials science interface and will be of interest to students and faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research in any science and engineering discipline. It is being jointly sponsored by the Materials Research Institute and the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences. Contact Donna Lucas to request a meeting with the speakers.
All lectures will be hosted in 100 Life Sciences Building, Berg Auditorium at 4 p.m. on the noted lecture date.
Erastus O. Haven Profesor
Hosted by Jian Yang
Polyphenols are found in both plant and animal tissues, where they serve a variety of functions including mechanical adhesion, structural support, pigmentation, radiation protection, and chemical defense. In animals, notable examples of polyphenols are the adhesive proteins secreted by sessile marine organisms for adhering to wet substrates. In mussels, for example, the adhesive proteins are known to contain high levels of 3,4-dihydroxy-L-alanine (DOPA), an amino acid that is believed to be important in adhesion to substrates. In plants, polyphenolic compounds containing benzenediol (catechol) and/or benzenetriol (gallol) functional groups are widely distributed secondary metabolites with a variety of biochemical and physical functions. Plant polyphenols have attracted significant attention for the claimed health benefits associated with consumption of foods and beverages rich in these compounds.
In this talk the biological functions of selected biological polyphenols that are rich in catechol or gallol functional groups will be described. Our research has the overall goal of developing novel materials inspired by biological polyphenols. In the case of mussel-inspired biomaterials, we are interested in understanding the molecular and mechanochemical aspects of mussel adhesion, and in developing biomimetic polymer hydrogels and coatings from synthetic catechol containing polymers. These biologically inspired materials have a variety of functional uses, including tissue repair, drug delivery and antifouling coatings. In the case of plant polyphenols, we recently discovered that polyphenolic compounds extracted from tea leaves, coffee beans, cacao beans and grapes form thin adherent polymerized films on substrates immersed in solutions of the extracts. Deposition is facile on a variety of solid, porous and nanoparticulate substrates composed of metals, ceramics and polymers. In addition to possessing inherent antibacterial and antioxidant properties, the deposited polyphenol films serve as versatile ‘primers’ facilitating secondary modifications of the primer coating such as metallization and covalent grafting of biomolecules and synthetic polymers. These secondary modifications can be exploited for a variety of practical applications, including antibacterial and fouling resistant coatings, electroless metallization of surfaces, plasmonic tuning and surface functionalization of nanoparticles, and antioxidant coatings on medical devices.
Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Hosted by Mohammad Abidian
Biomaterial-based strategies for tissue engineering span a vast spectrum from the production of scaffolds tailored with appropriate mechanical properties and degradation kinetics to serve transiently as a bridge to tissue formation to the leverage of biomaterials for the controlled delivery of biological signals to regenerate tissue in specific sites in the body. For example, our laboratory has developed a variety of biodegradable polymers for the controlled delivery of bioactive agents and/or progenitor cell populations to promote regeneration of tissues such as bone and cartilage. We have also applied engineered culture of cell populations on three-dimensional scaffolds toward the development of biologically active hybrid scaffold/extracellular matrix constructs for regenerative medicine applications as well as testing of anticancer drugs. This talk will present recent examples of biomaterial-based approaches for the development of tissue engineering technologies to meet clinical needs.
Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Chemical, and Biomolecular Engineering, and Professor of Materials Engineering
Hosted by Mohammad Abidian
The next ten years will see unprecedented strides in regenerating musculoskeletal tissues. We are moving from an era of advanced prosthetics, to what I term regenerative engineering. In doing so, we have the capability to begin to address grand challenges in musculoskeletal regeneration. Tissues such as bone, ligament, and cartilage can now be understood from the cellular level to the tissue level. We now have the capability to produce these tissues in clinically relevant forms through tissue engineering techniques. Our improved ability to optimize engineered tissues has occurred in part due to an increased appreciation for stem cell technology and nanotechnology, two relatively new tools for the tissue engineer.
Critical parameters impact the design of novel scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Cellular and intact tissue behavior can be modulated by these designs. Design of systems for regeneration must take place with a holistic and comprehensive approach, understanding the contributions of cells, biological factors, scaffolds and morphogenesis.
Edwin S. Robinson Endowed Chair
Hosted by Jian Yang
Regeneration of tissues that function as native replacements remains to be broadly realized. A common approach for tissue regeneration is cell delivery, including stem cells that are transplanted directly or as committed tissue progenitors. However, cell based therapy encounters several critical barriers in translation towards clinical therapeutics. Immune rejection, pathogen transmission, potential tumorigenesis, packaging/storage/shipping, and anticipated difficulties in clinical adoption, cost reimbursement and regulatory approval are among some of the roadblocks. Economic viability of cell delivery, especially if it requires substantial ex vivo cell manipulation, is far from trivial. I will present emerging data from my laboratory and others in several recent reports that chemotactic cell homing is responses for the regeneration of multiple and, in some cases, complex tissues, such as dermal, muscle, dental, cardiac, cartilage and bone. Data from these independent reports suggest an emerging concept that single or complex tissues can regenerate by the homing of endogenous cell lineages and potentially without cell transplantation. A multitude of approaches will be discussed to orchestrate cell homing including active recruitment of host endogenous cells by chemokines, cytokines, drugs, polymeric materials and bioengineering models. We will further explore the potential and limitations of tissue regeneration by cell homing and contrast cell homing with cell delivery approaches. Information on the mechanisms of cell homing will be explored primarily by in vitro studies of cell migration, cell recruitment and cell motility in 2D and 3D models. Endogenous stem cells may accelerate clinical application of stem cell technology.