Multifunctional Tunable Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering: Independent Control on Mechanics, Adhesion and Chemistry

Case ID:
C11696
Disclosure Date:
10/4/2011
Description:
Unmet Need
Adult Stem Cells hold great promise in tissue engineering because of their proliferative capacity and ability to differentiate into several phenotypes, and ultimately build new tissues. However, to enable translation of stem celll therapies and tissue-enginggering techniques, there is a significant need to generate materials that can be used to study fundamentals in biology and modulate or enhance differentiation. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels are frequently utilized to encapsulate cells in a 3D environment. Unfortunately, PEG based biomaterials lack functionality to incorporate multiple chemical and biological moieties to probe stem cell behavior and guide development. Furthermore, current methods of modifying PEG-based hydrogels lead to changes in mechanical properties of the material.

Technology Overview
Johns Hopking University researchers have developed a synthetic, robust and cost-effective hydrogel scaffold which provides the necessary biomechanical and adhesive cues for the growth and proliferation of various stem cell lineages. This technology addresses many of the unmet needs in stem cell culture scaffolds by providing a mechanical support for 3D culture that can be easily functionalized to modulate the morphology and growth patterns of stem cells.
With a rapidly growing market for 3D stem cell culture technologies, this invention serves as a versatile tool in the study of stem cells for the purpose of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Additional advantages include (1) tunable mechanics, adhesion and chemistry, (2) applications to regenerative medicine and the study of stem cell adhesion cues, (3) additional use in 2D cell culture and in tissue production.

Stage of Development
The inventors have prototyped and characterized the technology.
 
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For Information, Contact:
Emily Williams
ewill100@jhmi.edu
410-614-0300
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