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Bioengineering Seminar Series: Kiran Bhadriraju
Friday, September 10, 2010
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
For More Information:
Professor Adam Hsieh
hsieh@umd.edu

Engineering Cell Function Through the Adhesive Microenvironment

Kiran Bhadriraju, Ph.D.
Cell Systems Science Group
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Normal receptor-mediated adhesion and downstream signaling play a vital role in the growth and function of cells in the body. Understanding how and why key cellular functions are sensitive to different inputs from the adhesive microenvironment is hence vital for tissue engineering, and for understanding tissue dysregulation in disease. It is known that cells interact with the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) through integrin cell surface receptors, which physically and biochemically link the ECM to a dynamically organized intracellular cytoskeleton. By engineering cell adhesion using approaches such as varying the concentration of adhesive ligand, controlling the spatial extent of adhesion on cell length scales using micropatterning, or by modulating ECM mechanical stiffness and ligand presentation, we are learning how the adhesive microenvironment exerts control over cell function. Our studies suggest that multiple features of the ECM may have distinct effects on cell responses, and point to a critical role for the contractile force-generating cytoskeletal protein nonmuscle myosin II, activated through cell adhesion, in controlling vital cell functions including proliferation and differentiation.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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