Prof Tilo Pompe, Professor for Biophysical Chemistry at Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology at the Universität Leipzig, will be invited speaker at the next Biomaterials Seminar Tue 6 Oct 2015 10:00 – 11:00. His talk is titled Biomaterial Approaches to Study Dynamic Cell-ECM and Cell-Cell Interactions
Here is a short background summary before the talk:
The interaction of cells with their microenvironment determines cellular dynamics and cell fate decisions. The regulating mechanisms are based on cues of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and neighbouring cells, such as biophysical factors, including microstructure and viscoelasticity of the ECM, and biochemical factors, like ECM composition and cytokine presence.
We engineer defined biomimetic 2D and 3D microenvironments for in vitro cell culture studies to dissect biophysical and biochemical cell signalling mechanisms. In one part of the talk a 2D synthetic polymer model is presented, which allows to independently adjust elastic and viscous properties of the supporting cell culture scaffold. Time-resolved traction force analysis revealed the impact of substrate elasticity and molecular friction of the adhesion ligand fibronectin on the evolution and magnitude of traction force levels of primary endothelial cells. In the second part of the talk a 3D biomimetic system is introduced, which models various parameters of the in vivo ECM using naturally occurring biopolymers. Precisely defined 3D collagen networks with optional functionalization by glycosaminoglycans and adhesion ligands as well as with an optional incorporation of cell sized gradients of cytokines are used to study cell-ECM and cell-cell communication in an in vivo like context. Using this system biomedical questions in wound healing, cancer invasion and stem cell niches are investigated in terms of migration, proliferation and differentiation. The cell studies are complemented by the analysis of the dynamic single cell behaviour in heterogeneous cell populations using label-free 3D single cell tracking over time periods of several days.
In sum 2D and 3D biomimetic biomaterial systems were developed to control important parameters of the in vivo ECM, including composition, microstructure, viscoelasticity and cytokine presentation. The multifactorial platforms enable in vitro studies on biomedical questions at high local and temporal resolution down to a single cell level.