TO BE RESCHEDULED (Covid-19 situation) - "Injectable Synthetic Building Blocks to Regenerate Soft Anisotropic Tissues"


Event details

Date and time 10.03.2020 15:0016:00  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Laura De Laporte, DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, RWTH University, Aachen (D)
Category Conferences - Seminars

We apply polymeric molecular and nano- to micron-scale building blocks to assemble soft 3D biomaterials with anisotropic and dynamic properties. Microgels and fibers are produced by technologies based on fiber spinning, microfluidics, and in-mold polymerization. To arrange the building blocks in a spatially controlled manner, self-assembly mechanisms and assembly by external magnetic fields are employed. For example, the Anisogel technology offers a solution to regenerate sensitive tissues with an oriented architecture, which requires a low invasive therapy. It can be injected as a liquid and structured in situ in a controlled manner with defined biochemical, mechanical, and structural parameters. Magnetoceptive, anisometric microgels or short fibers are incorporated to create a unidirectional structure. Cells and nerves grow in a linear manner and the fibronectin produced by fibroblasts is aligned. Regenerated nerves are functional with spontaneous activity and electrical signals propagating along the anisotropy axis of the material. Another developed platform is a thermoresponsive hydrogel system, encapsulated with plasmonic gold-nanorods, which actuates by oscillating light. This system elucidates how rapid hydrogel beating leads to a reduction in cell migration, while enhancing focal adhesions, native production of extracellular matrix, and nuclear translocation of mechanosensitive proteins, depending on the amplitude and frequency of actuation.

Laura De Laporte combines engineering, chemistry and biology to design biomaterials that control and direct the interaction with cells. She is a Chemical Engineer from Ghent, where she got the tissue engineering microbe. To follow her dream, she did her PhD with Lonnie Shea at Northwestern University and engineered guiding implants for nerve regeneration. At EPFL, she learned about hydrogels in Jeffrey Hubbell’s group during her post-doctoral research. Currently, she is a Leibniz Professor at the RWTH University in Aachen, Germany, where she works on Advanced Biomedical Systems at the DWI-Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. In the framework of the ERC Starting Grant Anisogel, her team designs low-invasive, polymeric regenerative hydrogel therapies, consisting of nano –and micron-scale building blocks that orient after injection to repair anisotropic tissues. In addition, dynamic hydrogels are created to study mechanobiology.