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Angela Xie, Research Assistant, Biomedical Engineering (Murphy lab), “Synthetic biomaterial strategies to control stem cell phenotype in 2D and 3D”
January 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Topic: Synthetic biomaterial strategies to control stem cell phenotype in 2D and 3D
Abstract: Even as advances in basic stem cell science continue to be made in the laboratory, increasing focus is being placed on overcoming barriers to widespread clinical translation of transformative stem cell-based therapies. Among the challenges faced by stem cell scienstists and cell therapy manufacturers today is generating cells that are clinically effective (“potent”) through bioprocesses that are robust, controllable, scalable, and economical. Biomaterials approaches offer potential solutions that can simultaneously meet these criteria while addressing current bottlenecks in stem cell biomanufacturing, particularly as advances in engineered materials enable the in vitro cell microenvironment to be controlled with unprecedented precision. In my talk, I will describe two materials-based strategies that our lab has developed to manipulate the soluble and insoluble microenvironment in two- (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) stem cell culture. Specifically, I will first discuss the use of synthetic microparticles to stabilize/release thermolabile growth factors in 2D culture, which enabled a >80% reduction in the growth factor dose needed for human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) expansion. I will then describe chemically defined substrates to spatiotemporally control the 3D assembly of cell aggregates, where the mechanisms and parameters of assembly were shown to dictate structure, phenotype, and function in hPSC and mesenchymal stromal cell aggregates. These studies point to both the opportunities for biomaterials to facilitate translation of cell therapies by improving biomanufacturing processes, and the importance of understanding variables introduced by specific bioprocesses that may influence the ultimate potency of a cell product.