464495 Smart Biomaterials to Study, Mimic, and Exploit Cellular Mechanobiology

Friday, November 18, 2016: 2:18 PM
Continental 6 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Sanjay Kumar, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Living cells are capable of processing a variety of mechanical signals encoded within their microenvironment, which can in turn act through the cellular structural machinery to regulate many fundamental behaviors. In this sense, cells may be regarded as "smart biomaterials” that dynamically and locally modulate their physical properties in response to environmental stimuli. I will discuss our recent efforts to understand and engineer these living microsystems, and to create new, bio-inspired materials that mimic sequence/structure/function relationships of cytoskeletal networks. Key areas of emphasis will include: (1) Applying material and genetic strategies to probe the timing and molecular mechanisms of stem cell mechanobiology; (2) Using single-cell micropatterning and femtosecond laser ablation to precisely quantify the microscale mechanics of actomyosin stress fibers, and (3) Engineering stimulus-sensitive intrinsically disordered protein brushes based on neuronal cytoskeletal networks.

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