Biointerfaces Institute Mcmaster University
My research interests are centered on the design of highly ordered and structured materials to elucidate the role of biomaterials in the extracellular environment to improve human health by advancing the field of tissue engineering. We are particularly interested how cells communicate with extracellular structures and how these interactions evolve over time. To this end, we are designing tools to probe the effects of the 3D extracellular environment on cellular activities such as proliferation, migration and differentiation. We have previously developed a hydrogel patterning where proteins are simultaneously immobilized with high spatial resolution (~50 um) to mimic the natural environment. We are currently expanding developing methods to control the chemical properties of hydrogels over time to mimic the dynamic natural environment, as well as methods to rapidly screen the effects of chemical environments on cellular activities. Our group particularly relies on photochemistry, biophysical interactions and click chemistry in the synthesis of biomaterials. We are particularly interested in using these tools to elucidate the role of biomaterials on stem cells and cancer cell migration.