Special Presentation: Ki-Hwan Nam

    Friday, October 31, 2014 - 2:00pm
    Meinel 747

    "Advanced Micro/Nanosystems for Biomedical Engineering"


    Cells are highly sensitive to topographic and mechanical features of the surrounding extracellular matrix environment, and they sense and interpret mechanical cues, such as cell-substrate and cell-cell interactions, and substrate geometry in the microenvironment to regulate their activities and functions. Understanding the effects and relationships between these regulatory factors on cell behaviors is critical for fundamental cell biology and development of novel strategies in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Furthermore, most current cell-based assays are 2-D-based systems, even though such in vitro assays do not adequately recreate the in vivo complexity of 3-D tissues. Inadequate representation of the human tissue environment during a preclinical test can result in inaccurate predictions of compound effects on overall tissue functionality. Numerous studies have shown that cell responses to drugs in 3-D culture are improved from those in 2-D, with respect to modeling in vivo tissue functionality, which highlights the advantages of using 3-D-based models.

    In this study, we engineered an innovative biomimetic platform using nanotopography and surface modification using plasma lithography for the development of bioengineered 3-D tissue models which accurately mimic the physiological and mechanical properties of native tissue samples, and we highlight the advantages of using such 3-D microtissue models over conventional cell-based assays for future cell and tissue engineering applications. We also discuss biomimetic 3-D environments, based on engineered tissues as potential preclinical models for specific disease models. Since substrate topographies, cell geometry, and cell-cell or cell-substrate interactions are commonly encountered in the cell microenvironment, this approach allows systematic investigation of fundamental biological processes by applying recent advances in micro/nanofabrication techniques to engineer the cellular environment.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Ki-Hwan Nam works with the Institute for Basic Science in Daejeon, Korea.