“Molecularly Engineering Soft and Connective Tissue Using Biomimetic Proteoglycans”
Host: Lori Setton (WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Abstract: We have designed, synthesized and characterized biomimetic proteoglycans which mimic the three-dimensional bottle brush architecture of natural proteoglycans using a hybrid natural/synthetic polymer approach composed of natural glycosaminoglycan (chondroitin sulfate, CS) bristles attached end-on to a synthetic polymer core (poly(acrylic acid)). We have made a family of biomimetic proteoglycans of varying sizes from mimicking decorin to aggrecan in size and bristle density (aggrecan-like or versican-like, for example). Using biomimetic proteoglycans, we have molecularly engineered tissues which have been depleted of the mechanical and hydration physical properties through loss of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans including cartilage and the urethra ex vivo and in vivo. The molecules have additional potential in tissue engineering and drug delivery in addition to the mechanical and hydrating effects. Dr. Michele Marcolongo is Department Head and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University. There, she has served as Senior Associate Vice Provost for Translational Research at Drexel University, Associate Dean of Intellectual Property for the College of Engineering and Associate Vice Provost for Research.
Dr. Marcolongo’s field of research is biomaterials or materials that can be implanted into the body to replace diseased or damaged tissues. Specifically, she works on injectable biomaterials and macromolecules to replace and augment degenerated soft tissues. Dr. Marcolongo has co- founded three companies: the first, Gelifex, was sold to a major orthopaedics manufacturer and one company is active presently. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, AIMBE and Alpha Sigma Mu. She has authored a book, Academic Entrepreneurship (Wiley 2017), a “how-to” on translating research from discovery to commercialization for academics. Dr. Marcolongo received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and had worked for GE and DuPont before joining Drexel University in 1997.
Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.