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Institute of Bioengineering



Prof. Salmeron-Sanchez. Material-driven protein assembly to engineer the cellular microenvironment.

Date: 17 December 2014   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Most cells assemble rich protein matrices via an integrin-dependent mechanism that incorporates e.g. fibronectin (FN) molecules into matrix fibrils. The process involves integrin binding and activation of cell contractility to extend FN and expose cryptic domains that promote protein-protein interactions. We have shown that this process can occur by simple adsorption of individual protein molecules onto particular surface chemistries ? in absence of cells. FN ? material interactions would induce exposure of self-assembly sites to drive FN assembly, a process that we have named material-driven fibronectin fibrillogenesis. This FN matrix assembled at the material interface involves conformational changes of FN upon adsorption and enhanced FN-FN contacts on the material surface.

The resulting material-driven FN matrix assembled at the material interface consists of a protein network with enhanced biological activity: it supports cell adhesion, matrix remodeling, and trigger cell differentiation. Moreover, it provides a robust platform to engineer advanced microenvironments in combination with growth factors to tune stem cell differentiation and promote tissue repair.

Location:  David Sizer Lecture Theatre , Bancroft Building