Our goal is to develop methods for accelerating tissue engineering research. To achieve this goal, we will develop combinatorial methods for characterizing stem cell response to three-dimensional (3D) tissue scaffold properties. Although previous screening methods have used material libraries in the form of two-dimensional surfaces or films, biomaterials are commonly used in a 3D scaffold format and cells behave more physiologically when cultured in a 3D environment. Thus, this project will focus on development of combinatorial methods for screening cell-material interactions where the material is presented to the cells in a 3D scaffold format. Methods for creating tissue scaffold libraries in the form of gradients or arrays with varied properties or composition will be developed. Novel approaches for assessing differentiation of human stem cells down different lineages (bone, cartilage, fat, muscle) within the scaffold libraries will also be designed. The development of these techniques will provide the means to rapidly screen tissue scaffolds for directing differentiation of primary human stem cells down a desired lineage.
Biomaterials; Cell differentiation; Hydrogel; Scaffold; Stem cell; Tissue engineering; Regenerative medicine; Stem cell;