Dr. Donny Hanjaya-Putra, Postdoctoral Associate, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School, will give a seminar entitled, “Engineering Functional Biomaterials: From Stem Cell Morphogenesis to Targeted Drug Delivery” on Thursday, March 16, at 3:30 pm, in the Geddes Hall Auditorium. Functional biomaterials can be engineered with tunable physical and chemical properties to a range of applications in biotechnology from bio-responsive hydrogels to targeted drug conjugate. The first part of my talk will focus on work completed during my graduate years aimed at development of biomaterials to control vascular morphogenesis, which presents a tremendous challenge in tissue engineering. To overcome this limitation, we develop synthetic polysaccharide hydrogels that provide spatial and temporal control for stem cells to form blood vessel networks. Consequently, generating these vascular beds from stem cells and synthetic polymer is proven to be useful in aiding transplantation of tissue-engineered constructs into a range of vascular disorders. The second part of my talk will focus on our ongoing efforts at developing strategies to limit thrombosis and inflammation in the context of venous thrombosis and stem cell transplantation. In both cases, the rate of bleeding complication remains high despite recent advances in anticoagulation therapy, especially for patients with multiple risk factors. To address these challenges, we develop a fusion of protein and single-chain-antibody that combine potent anti-coagulation with platelet targeting. Using this unique approach, we inhibit thrombosis without altering systemic coagulation profiles. Collectively, these two examples illustrate that functional biomaterials are powerful and versatile platforms for various applications in biomedicine.
Originally published at stemcell.nd.edu.