Emily and Mai receive Conference Travel Awards

Emily Chen and Mai Ngo have each received Conference Travel Awards from the University of Illinois Graduate College. Emily will be attending the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting to present a poster entitled, ‘Extracellular matrix stimuli regulate cancer stem cell population and migratory potential in glioblastoma.’ Mai will be attending the Society for Biomaterials annual meeting to present a podium talk entitled, ‘Impact of VEGF presentation and glioblastoma on vascularization of GelMA.’ Congratulations to both!

Alec and Raul awarded GRFP fellowships!

Excited to announce that first years Alec Tiffany AND Raul Sun Han Chang were both awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship by the NSF! Alec’s work focuses on biomolecule delivery methods to improve regenerative healing of craniofacial bone injuries. Raul is developing  methods to incorporate a compliant hydrogel zone into our collagen scaffold technology for osteotendinou (tendon-bone) repair. Congrats to both! Please see the ChBE news release about their award!

3 #harleylab publications … in 10 hours!

Congrats to Bill (‘Cyclic tensile strain enhances human mesenchymal stem cell Smad2/3 activation and tenogenic differentiation in anisotropic collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds‘, in Eur Cells Mater), Emily (‘The combined influence of hydrogel stiffness and matrix-bound hyaluronic acid content on glioblastoma invasion‘, in Macromolecular Bioscience), and Sara (‘Patterning 3D hydrogel microenvironments using hyperbranched polyglycerols for independent control of mesh size and stiffness‘, in Biomacromolecules and with Dr. Steven Zimmerman) for acceptance of their manuscripts. 3 over the course of 10 hours is a new record for us – keep it up!

Sunny’s paper featured in Illinois News Bureau!

Dr. Ji Sun Choi’s paper, “Marrow-inspired matrix cues rapidly affect early fate decisions of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells“, was featured by the Illinois News Bureau. Her findings are a key step in engineering biomaterial culture environments for hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of blood and immune diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma. For more information read the full story here.

Brendan gives invited talk at ICBE 2017

Brendan traveled to sunny San Diego to give an invited talk  ‘An engineering approach to investigate niche regulation of hematopoietic stem cell fate’ at the 7th International Conference on Biomolecular Engineering, San Diego, CA. He highlighted efforts in biomaterials development for HSC culture, non-invasive imaging to monitor HSC fate, and computation methods to describe HSC differentiation patterns.

Bhushan’s new article on biomaterials for HSC co-culture

Congrats to Bhushan Mahadik on a new review article from our group, ‘Regulating dynamic signaling between hematopoietic stem cells and niche cells via a hydrogel matrix,’ just accepted by Biomaterials! This is a project that has been in development  in collaboration with Dr. Randy Ewoldt (at Illinois) and examines the use of hydrogels to balance autocrine feedback and paracrine signals in an artificial HSC niche – congrats all around!

Ji Sun Choi’s recent paper shows novel method of label-free imaging of stem cell adhesion

In conjunction with Professor Brian Cunningham’s Nano Sensors group of the University of Illinois Electrical & Computer Engineering and Bioengineering, Dr. Ji Sun Choi of the Harley Lab has employed Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscopy to monitor and quantitatively measure stem cell adhesion in a novel, label-free method that enables live-cell imaging. Adhesion is a critical process that regulates stem cell migration, differentiation, division, and cell death, and can be used to understand how stem cells react to the surrounding environment. This information will be used to inform future studies on stem cell fate decisions, and expanded to how diseases like cancer spread. Read more here…

Bill’s new article in on scaffolds for tendon rapair

Congrats to Bill Grier and past undergraduate Martins Iyoha for the acceptance of their new article, ‘The influence of pore size and stiffness on tenocyte bioactivity and transcriptomic stability in collagen-GAG scaffolds‘ in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. This work looked at ways that the degree of alignment in a collagen scaffold could fundamentally alter the transcriptomic stability of equine tenocytes, making it the basis for designing implantable materials for tendon repair.