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ChemE Colloquia- ADAM FEINBERG, Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus 825 Mudd Reception at 3:30 PM in 801 Mudd.

Bottom-Up Engineering of the Extracellular Matrix

Adam W. Feinberg, Ph.D.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a nanofibrillar network of proteins such as collagen and other molecules that physically integrates cells into tissues and acts as an insoluble, mechanosensitive signaling network. Recent work has demonstrated that the ECM in decellularized organs can serve as a scaffold to regrow tissues by providing instructive cues for cells. However, this is a top-down approach requiring an existing organ to be decellularized first. We asked, why not build the ECM from the bottom-up just like cells do during embryogenesis or wound healing? To do this, we have developed a biomimetic, surface-initiated assembly process that recapitulates how cells naturally build the ECM in tissues. Using this technology we are (i) studying basic ECM mechanobiology, (ii) developing strategies to build 3-D protein scaffolds and (iii) applying these scaffolds in cardiac and ophthalmic tissue engineering. In preliminary results, fibronectin nanofibers can undergo strains >8-fold, with complete elastic recovery. Similar studies are ongoing to elucidate the biomechanical properties of laminin and collagen type IV nanofibers. We are also using these ECM nanofibers to engineer scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering that mimic the ECM structure and composition in the embryonic heart, using developmental biology as a design template. Thus, we are putting the ECM back together from the bottom-up and building ever more complex ECM structures from nanofibers, to basement membranes to 3-D matrices. This provides a reductionist system where complexity can be engineered back into the matrix system, which we are exploiting as a tissue engineering platform and basic science tool.

BIO: Dr. Feinberg is the principal investigator of the Regenerative Biomaterials and Therapeutics Group at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in 1999 with co-op experience at Abiomed, Inc., working on total artificial hearts. He then earned MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida, focused on engineering cell-material interactions to prevent and enhance adhesion. Dr. Feinberg did his postdoctoral training at Harvard University, developing new biomaterials and cardiac tissue engineering strategies, with a focus on stem cell-based approaches. He subsequently joined CMU in the fall of 2010 as an Assistant Professor with joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Feinberg has co-authored over 15 peer-reviewed publications and holds 10 US patents and patent applications. He has also been awarded the NIH Directors 2012 New Innovator Award. Work in the lab is currently focused on developing biomimetic fabrication strategies that use the ECM proteins fibronectin, laminin, collagen type I and collagen type IV to build 2D and 3D nanofiber scaffolds. On the basic science side, we are working to understand the biomechanics and mechanobiology of engineered fibronectin, laminin and collagen nanofibers. On the applied side, we are engineering 2D basement membranes for regeneration of the corneal endothelium and 3D nano/micro structured ECM scaffolds for skeletal muscle and cardiac tissue engineering.

Reception at 3:30 PM in 801 Mudd.

Categories: Academic: Lecture