BME Seminar: Brendan Harley (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – “Building tissues: Engineering complexity through biomaterial design”

November 4, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Whitaker Hall 218 (Danforth Campus)

“Building tissues: Engineering complexity through biomaterial design”

Hosted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Abstract: Advances in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine require biomaterials that instruct, rather than simply permit, a desired cellular response. A major challenge to progress in our field is the complex organization of the tissues in our bodies, which are hierarchical, vary in space and time, and can differ person-to person. Prof. Harley’s research program is developing approaches to structurally and biomolecularly pattern biomaterials to enable tissue regeneration after injury as well as to study processes linked to homeostasis and disease progression outside of the body. A major area of our work targets development of a degradable biomaterial to regenerate craniomaxillofacial bones and musculoskeletal insertions. We are using bioinspired design motifs to create composite materials that instruct desired cell activities while retaining mechanical competence required for clinical translation. I will describe the development of sophisticated multidimensional tissue models to culture hematopoietic stem cells and patient-derived glioblastoma specimens, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. These approaches enable study of dynamic processes such as remodeling and reciprocal signaling linked to stem cell quiescence as well as study of the role played by angiocrine signals and immune interactions in shaping patterns of invasive spreading and drug resistance in primary brain cancer. Recent adaptations to this platform are providing a route to develop hierarchical models of the endometrial tissue microenvironment to investigate trophoblast invasion and endometrial pathologies.

View flyer for additional information

For inquiries contact Mimi Hilburg.

Parking is available outside of Whitaker Hall in the new East End Garage. Click here for the map. If taking the subway, the nearest metrolink stop is Skinker.