Role of Extracellular Matrix on Adipocyte Phenotype

Interdisciplinary Areas: Engineering-Medicine

Project Description

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an insoluble network of fibrous proteins and polysaccharides that not only serves as a source of cell attachment and mechanical support, but also provides a potent source of signaling through interactions with cell receptors and by acting as a reservoir of signaling molecules. Changes in the ECM often accompany pathologies. For instance, in obesity, which affects >650 million people worldwide, hypertrophic adipocytes secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines, which recruit macrophages. Chronic adipose tissue inflammation can induce fibrosis (increased ECM deposition) and contributes to a higher risk for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis. Although clear and distinct changes occur in the ECM during disease progression, the bulk of research has focused on methods for directly modulating cell-cell interactions. However, recent studies underscore the potency of the ECM as a therapeutic target. We are using a reductive approach that uses an engineered materials system to identify key extracellular matrix components and properties that contribute to adipocyte phenotype.

Start Date

06/01/2022

Postdoctoral Qualifications

*Highly motivated and independent researcher
*Excellent written and oral communication skills
*Strong publication record
*Eager to join interdisciplinary team that touches on topics in chemical engineering, materials science, and biomedical engineering

Co-Advisors

Julie Liu, julieliu@purdue.edu, Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, https://engineering.purdue.edu/LiuGroup

Luis Solorio, lsolorio@purdue.edu, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, https://soloriolab.wixsite.com/tmet?_ga=2.18586361.1513187059.1625151713-956620504.1620310884

Bibliography

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High‐Throughput Magnetic Actuation Platform for Evaluating the Effect of Mechanical Force on 3D Tumor Microenvironment
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N. Vázquez-Portalatín†, C.E. Kilmer†, A. Panitch, and J.C. Liu, “Characterization of Collagen Type I and II Blended Hydrogels for Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering,” Biomacromolecules, 17, 3145-3152 (2016). †These authors contributed equally.

C.E. Kilmer, C.M. Battistoni, A. Cox, G.J. Breur, A. Panitch, and J.C. Liu, “Collagen Type I and II Blend Hydrogel with Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Scaffold for Articular Cartilage Defect Repair,” ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 6, 3464-3476 (2020).