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Prof. V. Prasad Shastri: "Hard or Soft: Does it matter to Cells?"

Wann 08.02.2010
von 11:15 bis 12:15
Wo FRIAS Seminarraum, Albertstraße 19
Kontakttelefon +49 (0)761 203 97418
Teilnehmer Universitäts öffentlich
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Prof. V. Prasad Shastri
bioss – Excellence Cluster & Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Freiburg


Hard or Soft: Does it matter to Cells?

The synergy between cellular biology and materials has the potential to unleash a revolution in medicine, through our improved understanding of cellular processes at the level of signal transduction. The engineering of “stem cell niches” presents a significant challenge, and represents a key component in harnessing the potential of stem-cell based therapies in regenerative medicine. Towards this goal we posed the following questions. What are the variables that define a cellular microenvironment? How do these variables impact tissue-morphogenesis? What is the role of a biomaterial within this environment? While it is well established that cell-cell contact, cell-cell signalling, soluble and bound moieties play a crucial role in defining cell function and fate, the function of extra-cellular matrix and its associated components is just beginning to be unravelled. This brings us to the big question, How does nature solve a problem as complex as tissue morphogenesis and what is in her "tool box"? In this context, nanoscale systems has the necessary attributes, to provide the platform to decipher how the nanometer length scale defines the chemical and physical elements of the cellular microenvironment. Work carried out by our research group and others have shown that topography and mechanics of the cellular environment might be critical in improving our understanding of cell fate and function. In this talk we will discuss the ongoing work in our laboratory in understanding the interplay between nanoscale surface features, and cell shape ↔ function; and elucidate the intriguing the role of nano-mechano-transduction in defining the cellular microenvironment.