Engineered Microenvironments to Mimic the Physical and Biochemical Properties of Healthy and Diseased Tissue.
Nov 5, 2021
2:30PM to 3:30PM
Date(s) - 05/11/2021
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
In nature, cells occupy complex microenvironments (niches) where various cell types interact with physical and biochemical stimuli that regulate their behaviour and phenotype. These stimuli exist in the cellular niche and are recognized by cells at scales of microns to nanometres. Cells respond to their physical environment by sensing the stiffness, topography, and stresses applied to the extra cellular matrix (ECM). Cells also respond to soluble and surface-bound biochemical cues through receptor-mediated signaling cascades that are sensitive to the spatial (e.g., gradients) and temporal (e.g., on-off signaling) modulation of such stimuli. Identifying how cells respond to stimuli in nature and reproducing these interactions in vitro is key to understanding how cell dysfunction arises from processes triggered by aging and disease. Our group has developed methods to tune the physical and biochemical cues presented by microfabricated scaffolds and study how cells respond to these stimuli in vitro. In this talk, I will present our work on: 1) assessing the impact of the micro- to nanotopography on macrophage phenotype and function, 2) tuning the topography and surface functionality of 3D printed scaffolds through cellulose nanocrystal coatings, and 3) developing new inks for extrusion 3D bioprinting of scaffolds with tuneable mechanical and biochemical properties.
Jose Moran-Mirabal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University, the Canada Research Chair in Micro and Nanostructured Materials, and the Scientific Director of McMaster’s Centre for Advanced Light Microscopy. Jose’s research combines strengths in micro- and nanofabrication, surface chemistry, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy to design and study materials at the micrometer to nanometer scale.
Jose obtained a BSc in Engineering Physics and MSc in Biotechnology from ITESM, in Monterrey, Mexico. He then joined the group of Prof. Harold Craighead at Cornell University, where he performed research on the application of micro- and nanofabricated surfaces for the study of lipid membranes. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University in 2007. He worked as Post-Doctoral (2007-2009) and Research Associate (2009-2011) in the Biofuels Research Laboratory at Cornell University under the supervision of Prof. Larry Walker. Jose joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University in July 2011.