Body Building: Designer Gels to Promote Tissue Regeneration


Body Building: Designer Gels to Promote Tissue Regeneration

Dr. Kristi S. Anseth, University of Colorado Boulder

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., September 27, 2021   |   107 Carey Auditorium, Hesburgh Library

Hydrogels provide a unique, largely aqueous environment for 3D cell culture, and when locally modified with appropriate signaling molecules, these synthetic niches can facilitate the regeneration of tissues. While the gel environment is often >90% water, the microscopic architecture and local chemistry play important roles in dictating cell morphology, proliferation, and differentiation; gel degradation and erosion; and the secretion and distribution of extracellular matrix molecules.

Prof. Kristi S.Anseth
Dr. Kristi S. Anseth

This talk will illustrate examples where the regeneration of tissues is highly coupled to the biophysical and biochemical properties of the gels, and demonstrate how appropriate tuning of the gel properties can create microenvironments that simply permit cells to function to those that actively promote specific cell functions. Integral to this understanding is the ability to manipulate the underlying gel chemistry and properties through the synthesis of macromolecular precursors and control of the gelation process. The overall goal of the talk will be to illustrate some of the current advances and challenges in designing gels for tissue engineering applications and place this in the broader context of going from the bench to the bedside and back again.

Kristi Anseth is a professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and associate faculty director of the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently holds the Tisone Professorship and is a Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Anseth came to CU-Boulder after earning her B.S. degree from Purdue University, her Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, and completing post-doctoral research at MIT as an NIH fellow. Her research interests lie at the interface between biology and engineering where she designs new biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Anseth’s research group has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and she has trained more than 110 graduate students and postdoctoral associates. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2009), the National Academy of Medicine (2009), the National Academy of Sciences (2013), the National Academy of Inventors (2016) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019). Most recently, she received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award in the Life Sciences (2020).

Dr. Anseth has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Materials Research Society, the Board of Governors for Acta Materialia, Inc, the NIH Advisory Council for NIBIB, and as Chair of the NAE US Frontiers of Engineering meetings.