Elucidating surface-mediated permissive cues for cellular differentiation (2011–2013)
Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to be exquisitely sensitive to changes in their local culture (in vitro) and tissue (in vivo) microenvironment. Specifically, variations in the physical and biochemical properties of the surface to which they attach have been shown to direct their growth, death and differentiation choice. This project aims to develop a novel biomaterial surface platform capable of probing (and eventually, controlling) the cellular pathways that are deterministic of MSC behaviour. It will provide critical new insight into the mechanisms by which a highly engineered surface can elicit explicit control over MSC differentiation, paving the way for targeted tissue repair and replacement.