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Functional Building Blocks to 3D Print Spatially Organized Biomaterials

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar

Functional Building Blocks to 3D Print Spatially Organized Biomaterials

Lesley W. Chow, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Bioengineering
Lehigh University

The spatial organization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in biological tissues is intimately linked to the tissue’s function in the body. Disrupting ECM organization affects normal tissue function and properties, even if the overall composition remains the same. For example, the osteochondral interface between bone and cartilage contains gradients in mechanical, structural, and biochemical properties that are critical for load transfer and joint movement. Current strategies to repair this interface typically result in poorly organized tissues that fail to restore normal biomechanical function.

Inspired by native tissues, the Modular Biomaterials Laboratory at Lehigh aims to develop new strategies to combine and organize multiple bioactive components within a continuous construct. Our overarching goal is to synthesize biomaterials that guide ECM formation and organization, leading to engineered tissues with properties that more closely match their native counterparts. To achieve this, we developed a versatile platform where end-functionalized polymer conjugates are 3D printed into user-defined patterns. The conjugate’s functional groups (i. e., peptides, bioorthogonal chemistries) become displayed on the surface during fabrication to generate functionalized materials in a single step. Multiple chemistries can therefore be spatially organized within a single material by using different conjugates and multiple printer heads. In parallel, scaffold architecture can be independently and simultaneously controlled by changing the print pattern or nozzle diameter. This talk will discuss how we are using this modular platform to fabricate biomaterials to regenerate the osteochondral interface.

Dr. Lesley Chow is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Bioengineering at Lehigh University. She joined Lehigh in 2015 after her postdoctoral training with Dr. Molly Stevens in the Departments of Materials and Bioengineering at Imperial College London (London, UK). She received her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Samuel Stupp in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA) and her BS in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus in polymers from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, USA).

At Lehigh, Dr. Chow leads the Modular Biomaterials Laboratory where her research program centers on developing spatially organized biomaterials to guide functional tissue regeneration. Her laboratory is currently focused on musculoskeletal tissue engineering and is supported by the Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma, PA Department of Health, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, and a gift donation through St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Contact Information

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Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.


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