Engineered Cell Environments

Lung on a Chip

The increased use of nanoparticles in consumer products and therapeutic agents, and the prevalence of nanoparticles as environmental toxins increases concern about the adverse effects of nanoparticles on human health, especially the lung. Lung-on-a-chip microfluidic platforms possess the capability to mimic physiologically relevant lung tissue. The goal of my project is to use a sophisticated lung-on-a-chip platform to elucidate mechanisms of nanoparticle induced inflammation and nanoparticle migration through lung tissue.

Neural Engineering

Neural (N-) cadherin is a crucial adhesion protein in the brain. N-cadherin regulates the functional organization of mature neural tissue and the formation of neural networks, by guiding axon extensions, neurite outgrowth, dendritic arborizations, and synaptogenesis. Studies are developing biomaterials that exploit N-cadherin to repair neural tissues in vivo. A broad goal is to engineer a brain in a dish to investigate mechanisms of neural development and neurodegenerative diseases.