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Biomaterials


Scope of this initiative within the CMB:

It is becoming increasingly clear that synthetic extracellular matrices will play an important role in medicine. Artificial tissues and organs are still in their infancy, but their eventual realization is inevitable. Research and development efforts in this arena have understandably focused on the cellular compartment. However, it is generally accepted that the microenvironment in which cells are placed has a major impact on survival, proliferation and differentiation. While purified, natural extracellular matrices are an obvious choice for building artificial tissues, they are expensive and laborious to produce. Furthermore, they may be limiting for large-scale, quality controlled, industrial output. Chemically defined biomaterials, with well-understood biological properties, are an exciting alternative to naturally occurring matrices. There are several challenges ahead of their rational, safe and widespread use, including: proper characterization of the interface between biomaterials and cells; definition of chemically appropriate substances; quantitative comparisons of biomaterials with natural extracellular matrices in order to match the desired properties. In addition, synthetic polymers are already in use in controlled release systems.

The CMB intends to provide a forum where biologists can meet chemical and biological engineers in order to establish a platform for interactions across the Vanderbilt campus.

  Members (14)

Borza, Dorin-Bogdan
Davidson, Jeffrey M.
Keeney, Diane S.
Manousaki, Daphne
Pedchenko, Vadim
Penn, John S.
Quaranta, Vito
Rousseau, Bernard
Santoro, Samuel A.
Shastri, V. Prasad
Wikswo, John P.


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