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W4.03 - Engineering Functional Hydrogels for Repair of Cardiac Tissue 
April 23, 2014   9:00am - 9:30am

Heart disease is a major clinical problem in the United States and post myocardial infarction (MI), left ventricular (LV) remodeling ensues and leads to geometric changes that result in dilation and thinning of the myocardial wall. This increases stress in the infarct and healthy tissue and can ultimately result in heart failure. Injectable biomaterials are being investigated to address this clinical problem, including to alter stresses in the infarct region when injected as an array and to deliver biologics, such as stem cells and biomolecules. We are interested in a class of hydrogels based on the molecule hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is found during cardiac development and is involved in numerous biological functions, such as morphogenesis and wound healing, and importantly, can be modified with reactive groups (e.g., methacrylates) to form hydrogels. We have synthesized variations of HA macromers that form hydrogels with a range of mechanical properties and degradation (from a few weeks to stable over many months) and that form hydrogels through either photoinitiated or red-dox initiated radical polymerizations. This tunability in properties allows us to investigate how material properties (e.g., mechanics and degradation) influence the ability of injectable HA hydrogels to alter stress profiles and LV remodeling and to deliver therapeutic molecules (e.g., stromal-derived factor 1-alpha and TIMP-3, to alter progenitor cell homing to and matrix remodeling within infarcts, respectively). Furthermore, we are now designing self-assembling and shear-thinning hydrogels for percutaneous delivery to the heart. Our ability to design materials with controlled properties and degradation is allowing us to investigate how engineered hydrogels can be used to alter cardiac outcomes by adjusting endogenous signals. Overall, these hydrogels provide us the opportunity to investigate diverse and controlled material properties for a range of biomedical applications.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis