Synthetic hydrogels as cell environments


Event details

Date and time 23.02.2015 13:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Matthias Lütolf, Director of the Interfaculty Institute of Bioengineering, EPFL
Bio: Professor Matthias Lutolf is Director of the Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) EFPL, and Head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering. He was trained as a Materials Engineer at ETH Zurich where he also carried out his Ph.D. studies on the development of a novel class of biomaterials for tissue engineering (awarded with ETH medal in 2004). Lutolf carried out postdoctoral studies at the Baxter Laboratory in Stem Cell Biology at Stanford University on microenvironmental (‘niche’) regulation of somatic stem cells (2005-2007). He started up his independent research group at EPFL with a European Young Investigator (EURYI) award. By interfacing advanced biomaterials engineering, microtechnology and stem cell biology, a major goal in his lab is to uncover mechanisms of stem cell fate regulation; knowledge that will contribute to better ways to grow stem cells in culture and use them for various applications.
Category Conferences - Seminars
Hydrogels are crosslinked polymer networks that store large amounts of water. Major components of tissues in our body are built of dynamic hydrogels, termed extracellular matrix (ECM), composed of complex mixtures of proteins and sugars that are secreted by cells. The ECM is specific to a particular cell and tissue type and provides numerous biochemical and biophysical signals that instruct cells to perform specific functions, for example, to multiply, migrate or differentiate. The instructive role of the ECM is crucial in building a tissue, in keeping it functional over long periods, and in regenerating it after damage.  Inspired by nature, we have been developing fully synthetic and dynamic hydrogels that can mimic some of the key functions of natural ECM.  In this talk, I will highlight recent efforts in my lab to develop hydrogels that emulate the native hydrogels that control the unique functions of stem cells in our tissues. I will also describe our emerging molecular toolbox to fabricate tissues in vitro based on hydrogel-guided stem cell development.

• Ranga A, Gobaa S, Okawa Y, Mosiewicz KA, Negro A, Lutolf MP, 3D niche microarrays for systems-level analyses of cell fate, Nature Communications, 5 Article number: 4324 doi:10.1038/ncomms5324 (2014)
• Gjorevski N, Ranga A, Lutolf MP, Bioengineering approaches to guide stem cell-based organogenesis, Development, 141 (9), 1794-1804 (2014)
• Mosiewicz KA, Kolb L, van der Vlies AJ, Martino MM, Lienemann PS, Hubbell JA, Ehrbar M, Lutolf MP, In situ cell manipulation through enzymatic hydrogel photopatterning, Nature Materials, 12 (11), 1072-1078 (2013)

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • MIchele Ceriotti


  • MIchele Ceriotti

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