Engineering tissue morphogenesis in vitro

Prof. Alison McGuigan, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

06 February 2014 at 10:30

Location: JHE 326H


During tissue regeneration, replacement cells are recruited and re-organized into a specific arrangement. The functionality of the regenerated tissue depends critically on correct incorporation and re-organization of these replacement cells during the regenerative process. Historically the signals that guide cell re-organization, or morphogenesis, to produce tissue patterning have been studied extensively in developing embryos using various animal models. The complexity of embryo morphogenesis and the interplay between multiple signals at multiple length scales make this a particularly challenging process to dissect however, and animal models often do not easily allow combinations of different signals to be perturbed systematically. In this talk I will present some of the in vitro models we are developing to allow systematic analysis of the signals that direct cell re-organization for carefully dissecting the regulatory systems that control tissue re-organization. These cell culture systems offer the potential for high-throughput screening to identify therapeutic strategies, such as drugs or biomaterials, for modulating and controlling cell re-organization and tissue morphogenesis.


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