Our lab's major work areas are: Smart Bioinspired Materials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Tissue-on-Chip platforms/3D Organoids, Biophysics of Diseases
Reciprocal interactions of cells with their surrounding microenvironment or niche are fundamental to multiple cellular processes necessary for tissue development, homeostasis, and regeneration. Several components of the niche such as cell-cell interactions, cell-ECM interactions, growth factors and cytokines are critical to the development and function of multicellular organisms. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the physicochemical cues of the micro-environment normally maintains tissue homeostasis, when negatively perturbed, it may also contributes to disease progression and age-dependent pathologies. A detailed understanding of how cells interact with their microenvironment and how these interactions influence various cellular functions can help develop new therapies to promote healing, treat diseases, and prevent disease progression. In an effort to dissect the physicochemical cues of the extracellular environment on various cellular responses, our laboratory is employing various ex vivo tools and technologies and in vivo systems. Specifically, we focus on extracellular matrix physicochemical cues on stem cell commitment (from the perspective of tissue regeneration and healing) and disease progression (from the perspective of cancer metastasis and fibrosis).