Thrust 3

Rational Design of Interactive Biomaterials

Overall Scientific Challenge

The overall challenge of Thrust 3 is to improve understanding of the effect of physical and chemical cues of surfaces on cellular behavior across a range of length scales. The knowledge gained will be used to develop in-silico models that will enable accelerated design and fabrication of new interactive biomaterials and devices. Biomaterials are synthetic or natural substances that are engineered to interact directly with biological systems and influence structural functions. Recently, major advances in cellular and molecular technology have resulted in a new generation of smart biomaterials. While cells can respond to chemical features of underlying substrates containing domains as small as sub-nm, it is the topographical features of the substrates, from a nanometer to mesoscale, that effectively modulate many responses including adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, metabolism and apoptosis.

The Thrust 3 challenges will be addressed systematically. During the first two years, new building blocks will be prepared and surface modified where appropriate. As these are made available, we will begin assembling them into 3D structures. In all cases, key chemical, rheological, and topological data will be collected and sent to the MCC for inclusion into databases. Beginning with simple, known materials, we will be developing protocols for measuring cellular response to surfaces and fabricated structures. As new materials become available, these will be tested similarly and the results sent back to the MCC for expanding databases and for the development of design tools. As the program progresses, tools from the MCC will enable the design and construction of second generation materials and fabricated structures. These, in turn, will undergo chemical and biological testing. Results from simulations will inform the design of second generation materials in advanced years of the project.

Publications (as of April 18, 2018)

  • Pageni, Parasmani; Yang, Peng; Chen, Yung Pin; Huang, Yucheng; Bam, Marpe; Zhu, Tianyu; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Benicewicz, Brian C.; Decho, Alan W.; and Tang, Chuanbing (2018). Charged Metallopolymer-Grafted Silica Nanoparticles for Antimicrobial Applications. Biomacromolecules. 19(2), 417-425.
  • Pan, Panpan; Chen, Xiao; Metavarayuth, Kamolrat; Su, Jiacan; Wang, Qian (2018). Self-assembled supramolecular systems for bone engineering applications. Current Opinion in Colloid Interface Science. 35, 104-111.
  • Zhang, Libo; Xu, Yanmei; Makris, Thomas; Wang, Qian (2018). Enhanced Arylamine NOxygenase Activity of PolymerEnzyme Assemblies by Facilitating Electron-Transferring Efficiency. Biomacromolecules.
  • St John, Franz; Dietrich, Diane; Crooks, Casey; Balogun, Peter; de Serrano, Vesna; Pozharski, Edwin; Smith, James; Bales, Elizabeth; Hurlbert, Jason (2018). A plasmid borne, functionally novel glycoside hydrolase family 30, subfamily 8 endoxylanase from solventogenic Clostridium. Biochemical Journal. (submitted)
  • Gao, Bruce (2018). Functional Similarities between Cultured Neuronal Networks Formed from Dissociated Chick Forebrain Neurons and Rodent Cortical Neurons. Comparative Physiology A. (submitted)
  • Gao, Bruce (2018). Developmental Electrophysiology of Cultured Neuronal Networks at Early Stages. Biosensors and Bioelectronics Open Access. (submitted)

Conference Papers or Presentations (as of April 18, 2018)

  • Hurlbert, Jason; Conference Presentation, Published, Enzymatic degradation of Hemicellulosic Polysaccharides for Industrial Applications, Materials Science and Technology, 2017. Pittsburgh, PA
  • Palkar, Vaibhav (Kornev; Kuksenok); Conference Proceedings, Published, Theory for 3D Magnetic Rotational Spectroscopy of Complex Fluids, SEM 2018, 2018. Greenville, SC