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Mechano-Active Materials to Direct Stem Cell Differentiation

Photo of Dr. Robert Mauck

Robert L. Mauck, PhD

Friday, September 8, 2017
Noon – 1:00 PM
MEC 106

About the Presentation

Stem and progenitor cells hold great promise for musculoskeletal regenerative medicine, given their ability to both produce functional tissues ex vivo as well as participate in endogenous repair. These cells are responsive to both soluble factors and biophysical cues that reside within their microenvironment.  Ultimately, these cells sum this information to make decisions regarding lineage commitment and function. This seminar will detail how both ‘passive’ and ‘active’ materials can be applied to direct MSC fate decisions. Examples will include material modifications that alter cell signaling to control how cells sense the mechanics of the microenvironment, as well methods to ‘instrument’ the dynamic loading environment of musculoskeletal tissue to direct biofactor release to promote repair and regeneration. 

About the Presenter

Robert L. Mauck, PhD is the Mary Black Ralston Professor of Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Director of the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. His research program is focused on the engineering and mechanobiology of musculoskeletal tissues, with a particular interest in restoring articular cartilage, the knee meniscus, and the intervertebral disc. Dr. Mauck’s team uses mechanical and molecular analyses to explore native tissue structure function relationships, and employs this information to enhance the functional properties of engineered constructs through focused technology development. His work explores progenitor cell function and efficacy in a variety of biomaterial contexts and across multiple length scales, from subcellular biophysical properties to translation of engineered constructs in large animal models.

Dr. Mauck is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Veterans Administration, and several foundations and private organizations. He is an active member of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS). Dr. Mauck serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, and the Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics and has published >160 manuscripts (cited >7800 times), >300 abstracts, and >12 book chapters. Dr. Mauck has been recognized for his contributions to the field with the ISSLS Prize in Biomechanics (2008), the YC Fung Young Investigator Award from the ASME (2009), the BMES-CMBE ‘Rising Star’ Award (2011), the Penn Medicine Montague Research Prize (2013), election to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2014), the Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2015), and the Berton Rahn Research Award from the AO Foundation (2017). At Penn, Dr. Mauck serves as the Co-Director of the Program in Musculoskeletal Regeneration in the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM), is the Director of the Biomechanics Core of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders (PCMD), and is a founding member of the Center for Engineering Mechanobiology (CEMB).