Dynamic biomaterial tools are needed to address modern medicine challenges ranging from the repair and replacement of tissues and organs to the treatment of diseases such as fibrosis and cancer. In particular, the ability to engineer biomaterial milieus that re-create the heterogeneous microenvironments of physiological and pathological conditions is critically important. My PhD work in Prof. Brendan Harley’s lab at the University of Illinois focused on the design of spatially-patterned collagen biomaterials to engineer orthopedic interfaces and direct cell behavior using approaches with broad applicability to a variety of regenerative medicine challenges. During my postdoctoral work in Prof. Jason Burdick’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania I have developed a suite of mechanically dynamic hyaluronic acid hydrogel substrates useful for a range of fundamental mechanobiology studies, with a particular focus on understanding hepatic stellate cell behavior during liver fibrosis. As a principal investigator I will leverage my experience in chemical engineering, biomaterial fabrication and characterization, and mechanobiology to design regenerative templates for tissues including skin and skeletal muscle. On a more fundamental level, I will use these materials to investigate how cells interrogate their environment during growth factor signaling and in disease states such as liver fibrosis and cancer.
Selected Publications (out of 16 first author published/submitted/in preparation):
7) S.R. Caliari, J.A. Burdick, ‘A practical guide to hydrogels for cell culture,’ In preparation, 2015.
6) S.R. Caliari, M. Perepelyuk, B.D. Cosgrove, R.L. Mauck, R.G. Wells, J.A. Burdick, ‘Visible light-mediated stiffening hydrogels for probing the dynamics of myofibroblast differentiation in fibrosis,’ In preparation, 2015.
5) S.R. Caliari, D.W. Weisgerber, W.K. Grier, Z. Mahmassani, M.D. Boppart, B.A.C. Harley, ‘Collagen scaffolds incorporating coincident gradations of instructive structural and biochemical cues for osteotendinous junction engineering,’ Adv Healthc Mater, 4(6):831-7, 2015.
4) S.R. Caliari, E.A. Gonnerman, W.K. Grier, D.W. Weisgerber, J.M. Banks, A.J. Alsop, J. Lee, R.C. Bailey, B.A.C. Harley, ‘Collagen scaffold arrays for combinatorial screening of biophysical and biochemical regulators of cell activity,’ Adv Healthc Mater, 4(1):58-64, 2015.
3) S.R. Caliari, B.A.C. Harley, ‘Composite growth factor supplementation strategies to enhance tenocyte bioactivity in aligned collagen-GAG scaffolds,’ Tissue Eng Part A, 19(9-10):1100-12, 2013.
2) S.R. Caliari, M.A. Ramirez, B.A.C. Harley, 'The development of collagen-GAG scaffold-membrane composites for tendon tissue engineering,' Biomaterials, 32(34):8990-8, 2011.
1) S.R. Caliari, B.A.C. Harley, 'The effect of anisotropic collagen-GAG scaffolds and growth factor supplementation on tendon cell recruitment, alignment, and metabolic activity,' Biomaterials, 32(23):5530-40, 2011.
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