Seminar Friday, November 10, 2017

Lesley W. Chow, PhD
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Bioengineering
Lehigh University

Modular biomaterials with spatially organized cues to guide tissue regeneration

One of the key challenges in the biomaterials field is the inability to recreate the complex hierarchical organization of biological tissues, which is intimately linked to tissue function. Biomaterials for tissue engineering must therefore be designed to provide spatially organized biochemical, structural, and mechanical cues to guide functional tissue formation. To address this, we are developing peptide-­functionalized polymer conjugate molecules that can be 3D printed into continuous scaffolds with spatially organized peptide functionalization. This strategy allows us to independently and simultaneously control both scaffold architecture and the spatial concentration of multiple peptides within a single construct. Currently, we are utilizing this strategy to control the structure and biochemical organization of scaffolds designed to regenerate the osteochondral interface between bone and cartilage. This talk will illustrate how this modular strategy can be easily tailored for specific applications and provides a platform for understanding how the spatial presentation of bioactive cues affects local and global cell behavior.

Lesley Chow joined Lehigh University as an Assistant Professor in Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering in 2015 following her postdoctoral training with Molly Stevens at Imperial College London (London, UK). She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) and her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) under the supervision of Samuel Stupp. Her research group focuses on developing modular molecular building blocks to create biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Her lab is particularly interested in assembling scaffolds with spatially organized physical and biochemical cues that can be modified over time. These materials serve as platforms to deepen our understanding about how the spatiotemporal organization of native tissues is linked to their biological function.