Dr. Delphine Gourdon, from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, will be giving a talk about 2D and 3D platforms for control of cell-matrix interactions this next Thursday October 15th at the University of Glasgow.
Dr. Gourdon joined Cornell in Fall 2009 and was appointed as a Graduate field member of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell in Summer 2011. Delphine was allocated the NSF Early Career Award in 2014 and she has a authored 30+ publications in peer-reviewed journals that have received over 2300 citations.
Her team studies the mechanobiology of the extracellular matrix in breast cancer in 2D and 3D, the mechanical and structural signature of inflammation, and biolubrication & bioadhesion in various biomedical applications.
This is a summary of her upcoming talk at Glasgow:
The extracellular matrix (ECM), a complex network of proteins including collagen (COL) and fibronectin (FN) couples a cell with its environment and directly regulates the cell’s fate via physical and biochemical signals. Although the ECM was often considered a static structure providing cohesion and mechanical integrity to tissues, it has recently been shown that (i) the nano-structure, (ii) the nano/micro mechanics, and (iii) the signaling capacity of the ECM are affected by cell-generated forces. Our work has focused on investigating and controlling the material properties of ECM networks and the synergistic roles of FN and COL in 2D and 3D environments.
In a first example, I will show how the integrated method used in our lab allowed us to diagnose early dysregulation of the ECM materials properties in tumors. In a second example, I will present a 3D conducting matrix-mimicking polymeric platform we developed to control FN conformation over macroscopic volumes. This platform enables a better understanding of the critical link between protein structure and function, with the ultimate goal of controlling cellular functions through cell-matrix interactions. As such, it represents a new tool for biological research with many potential applications in basic research, medical diagnostics, and tissue engineering.