Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Home > News > Dr. Kelly Schultz receives grant from NIH to study the interaction of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with their environment

Dr. Kelly Schultz receives grant from NIH to study the interaction of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with their environment

Dr. Kelly Schultz, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received a three year $439,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how Mesenchymal Stem Cells controllably remodel their environment.

This grant will look at the strategies cells use to engineer their microenvironment leading to the design of materials that accelerate tissue regeneration and enhance wound healing. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are encapsulated within synthetic polymeric scaffolds in three-dimensions. These microenvironments provide a well-defined physical microenvironment but is also designed to enable cell-mediated degradation and remodeling during motility. Using rheological characterization we are able to identify the spatial remodeling and degradation of the synthetic hydrogel scaffold. Previous work showed that the degradation profile is manipulated by the hMSCs to enable spreading and attachment prior to motility. We hypothesize that hMSCs are secreting tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) to limit the enzymatic degradation of the scaffold by secreted matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This work will determine whether inhibition of TIMPs can eliminate the attachment and spreading of hMSCs and encourage enhanced motility.

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Professor Kelly Schultz

Professor Kelly Schultz of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department

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