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Biomaterials get stem cells to commit to a bony future
Date:1/6/2014

ntiate into a variety of cell types. With this information, they hope to design biomaterials that can be used to help transform stem cells into tissues that may someday replace diseased or degenerated bone, muscle, or blood vessels.

Stem cell research may seem like an unusual endeavor for engineers, but tissue construction and the development of biomaterials have become one more type of "building" in the engineering repertoire, Varghese said.

"But to me, what we do is use engineering principles to solve a biological problem, and by integrating many research disciplines from molecular biology to engineering to medicine," she added.

The first author of the PNAS paper, Yu-Ru V. Shih is a postdoctoral fellow in Varghese's research group, the Bio-inspired Materials and Stem Cell Engineering Group. He came to UC San Diego as part of the UST-UCSD International Center of Excellence in Advanced Bioengineering, sponsored by the Taiwan National Science Council I-RiCE Program. This initiative by the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM) at UC San Diego is directed by UC San Diego bioengineering professor Shu Chien. During the course of this study, Shih collaborated with Chien and Oscar K. Lee of the department of orthopedics and traumatology at Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

"This research is a testimony to how international collaborations could provide unique opportunities to young researchers to tackle interdisciplinary questions relevant to medical sciences," Varghese said.


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Contact: Daniel Kane
dbkane@ucsd.edu
858-534-3262
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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