On-Demand 3-Dimensional Polymer Scaffolds for Directed Stem Cell Differentiation (2012–2014)
This project aims to develop a new methodology to sculpt on-demand 3D gel structures with optimum coverage of stem cell factors, and dissolve them on-demand once the stem cells form the desired organ. The gels, consisting of nanorod fibers, resemble an extracellular matrix. The nanorods can be made at weight fractions orders of magnitude greater than previously attained, and provide a simple way of attaching cell adhesion, growth and differentiation factors to its surface. This innovative approach will uncover the fundamental precepts that govern 3D tissue generation in vitro, which has only been studied on 2D surfaces. The generate 3D scaffolds will be used to direct cells into the tissue of choice with the correct structure.