Shan Wu (BE Doctoral)
Investigating the cue-signal-response relationship of mesenchymal stem cell migration
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and related connective tissue progenitors (CTPs) hold great potential for tissue engineering applications because of their ability to pluripotently differentiate, even in vitro, into a variety of cells crucial to injury repair. In order to effectively use MSCs, we must understand and control their responses of proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Previous work in our lab suggests that PMMA-g-PEO base polymers tethered with epidermal growth factor (tEGF) may be designed to control MSC responses, but MSC migration in general remains a largely unstudied field. This project aims to quantify MSC migration on a variety of polymer substrates, as well as investigate EGF-induced signaling in these same conditions to ultimately computationally correlate the growth-factor-stimulated migration cue-signal-response in MSCs.