Instructive Biomaterials for Stem Cell Differentiation

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Adipose Stem Cells survive in RGD Qgel scaffolds. Shown are confocal images after 7 days, stained to distinguish live cells (green) from dead cells (red). Cells in the cyclic RGD gels show increased cell attachment and spreading compared to linear RGD (CGRGDSP) and no peptide, water only control. Greater cell death was observed in the water only control.

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Regeneration of damaged tissues using stem cell derived cellular therapies will have broad application for the military. Stem cells have the potential to differentiate into all adult cell types and will likely have profound applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Our objective is to use an interdisciplinary approach to develop scaffolds of synthetic biomaterials that can be used to support stem cell-derived cell survival and differentiation. Efforts include use of adipose stem cells for soft tissue regeneration and human embryonic stem cells for ocular trauma. Materials developed will be useful for other cell types, so that desired tissues and organs can be generated in the lab and used to replace those lost due to injury or disease.

University: 

UCSB

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