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Cells as Legos: Using cells for gelation of hydrophobically-modified polymers

26 Mar 2014

Engineering tissue mimics in vitro using cells and materials is one of the core goals of biomaterials science. To develop a tailored cell culture environment, natural and/or synthetic hydrogels are used to mimic the extracellular matrix. Cells are embedded in a hydrogel matrix in a process known as “encapsulation.” During encapsulation, polymers in solution are […]

Mending a broken heart: Myocardial matrix hydrogels for cardiac tissue engineering

12 Feb 2014

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease causes 17.3 million deaths worldwide, with projections reaching 23.3 million deaths by the year 2030. Unfortunately, heart attack patients still have limited therapeutic options, commonly relying on left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and heart transplantation. To provide more modern therapies, physicians have turned to tissue engineers to […]

Nanoscale semiconductor devices as new biomaterials

31 Jan 2014

Most biological organisms depend on electrical signals to function properly. For instance, neurons are electrically active cells that transmit signals to other neurons using electrical signals known as action potentials. Other electrically active cells such as cardiomyocytes in the heart spontaneously generate electrical signals that regulate normal heart rhythm. Additionally, electrical signals are also known […]

Dextran polyampholyte hydrogels for cell cryopreservation

18 Dec 2013

One of the goals of tissue engineers is to manufacture “spare body parts” made of cells and biomaterials to repair damaged or diseased tissues. A current challenge for commercializing cell-biomaterial constructs is maintaining their viability during shipping and/or storage. The storage of cells in liquid suspension is relatively simple with the use of common cryoprotectants […]