Microengineered tools to probe disease and development
Cells and tissues exist in complex microenvironments, in which they are subject to a variety of physical forces and chemical cues. These microenvironmental signals regulate cell function, and are hence crucially important to consider when designing new therapies. However, replicating these signals in conventional cell culture systems is often challenging, particularly when studying dynamic tissues undergoing developmental or disease processes. Our lab designs and builds microtechnologies to probe the complex relationships between mechanics, materials, and biological function in engineered tissues. By creating precision tissue engineering tools and cell culture systems, we gain insight into the physical mechanisms underlying cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory diseases; and aim to apply this knowledge in designing the next generation of therapeutic discovery platforms.