Angi Wu

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hey!

I'm Angela Wu, but people usually call me Angi. Yep, that's right I spell it without the "e". I'm a sophomore in Biological Engineering. I live at Sigma Kappa. I am taking BE.109, BE.320, BE.180, 7.05 and 21F.102 (Chinese II). I watch TV and movies in my free time. I love black and white movies and anything with Audrey Hepburn. I like going to art museums; I'm a big fan of modern art and I think eyeglasses are cool.

email me at: angiwu@mit.edu

Module Four Research Proposal

Project Overview: We want to mediate cell adhesin by engineering changes in integrins in hopes of better understanding cell response to binding materials. We want to make integrins that bind more or less strongly to materials. Natural ligands for integrins are fibronectin, collagen, and laminin. We could engineer a novel integrin to bind to a different ligand, perhaps a sythetic material or scaffold.

Background Information: Integrins are membrane bound proteins important for cell adhesion to ECM (extra cellular matrix) and also for signal transduction. They are involved in signaling that leads to differentiation, migration, cell growth, and apoptosis. Integrins are also connected to cancer as mutated integrin genes have been found in some types of cancer and integrins may be involved in metastasis.

Statement of Research Proposal and Goals: We propose to create novel integrins using a targeted mutagenesis approach. Our goals are to create integrins with different binding properties and then study their interactions with synthetic scaffolds used in tissue engineering. Or we could use the mutated integrins to study differentiation - we could examine how a very weakly or tightly binding integrin affects differentiation of stem cells.

Project Details and Methods: coming soon

Predicted Outcomes: We predict that changing structure of integrin will change the way the cell can interact with a material. Some engineered integrins will bind tighter to a certain surface than their naturally occurring counterparts and some engineered integrins will bind less tightly than their naturally occurring counterparts.

Necessary Ressources: coming soon

References:

1)Get a Grip: integrins in cell-biomaterial interactions Andrés J. García, Biomaterials Volume 26, Issue 36 (This is an overview of how integrins interact with materials and how one can engineer changes in these interactions)

2)Integrin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrin (This is a good overview of what integrins are)

3)Cartilage tissue engineering using human auricular chondrocytes embedded in different hydrogel materials

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