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IoB Seminar Series: Dr Daniela Loessner, Bioengineered platforms to recreate tissue and tumour microenvironments

Image: Dr Daniela Loessner
Dr Daniela Loessner

Date: 27 September 2017   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Tissue engineering technology platforms have resulted in multi-disciplinary strategies to recreate a cell’s naturally occurring niche to study normal and pathological cell-cell and cell-niche interactions. Biofabrication techniques are used to design and produce scaffolds made of different biomaterials that represent tissue-like structures observed in real life. These biomimetic scaffolds model crucial properties of the extracellular matrix, provide mechanical support and anchorage to cells. Cells seeded onto these scaffolds experience 3D conditions and exhibit physiological relevant cell behaviours.

The focus of tumour engineering is to develop species-specific niches to investigate processes promoting cancer progression and drug responses. For example, melt eletrospun written scaffolds seeded with human osteoblasts or human mesothelial cells replicate bone-like and peritoneal microenvironments respectively. These humanized niches are then implanted into an animal host together with human cancer cells to allow homing of malignant cells to their disease-specific microenvironment. By incorporating patient-derived cells, personalized medicines can be screened.

Pre-clinical cancer models harbour the complexity of the disease seen in patients in order to advance our understanding of the underlying cancer cell biology and the contribution of the tumour’s surrounding milieu.

Location:  David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Bancroft Building, Mile End
Contact:  Dr Daniela Loessner