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Engineering and Technology

Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Candidate Seminar: Michael Blatchley

January 25, 2023 at 11:00am12:00pm EST

Bowne Hall, 414

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The Department of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering is pleased to welcome faculty candidate Dr. Michael Blatchley from the University of Colorado Boulder in presenting his candidate seminar: “Constructing and Characterizing 4D Tissue Models”


Engineered 4D tissue constructs are promising benchtop models, owing to their capacity to mimic key architectural and compositional metrics of their in vivo counterparts in a controllable manner. In the short term, these models have potential for studies in fundamental biology, disease modeling, personalized medicine, and drug screening, with long term possibilities in constructing patient-specific, transplantable tissues. A major focus in the development of biomimetic tissue models has been on the presentation of soluble biochemical cues that activate or inhibit signaling pathways leading to cellular self-organization, thereby generating lab-grown constructs that mimic many features of the native tissue, but with a high degree of heterogeneity. Fewer studies have sought to characterize and recapitulate other extracellular niche cues, and the dynamics of those cues, to study their effects on cell signaling and morphogenesis. For studies focused on these other extracellular cues, hydrogels are uniquely well suited as biomaterials that can match niche specific properties, including matrix mechanics, integrin binding specificity, degradability, and oxygen tension. The initial conditions of hydrogels can be engineered to optimize cell survival and growth, while dynamic boundary conditions can be regulated by phototunable alterations to the hydrogel properties to guide cell behavior with spatiotemporal precision, resulting in controllable tissue formation. In this talk, I’ll discuss specific applications in using hydrogels (1) to model the vascular regenerative niche by controlling oxygen tension and matrix mechanics, (2) for expansion microscopy to characterize tissue-specific niche properties of organoids with sub-micron resolution, and (3) to direct intestinal organoid morphogenesis by tuning the matrix mechanics at precise points in space and time.


For more information, contact Prof. Zhen Ma at

This event was published on January 6, 2023.

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