Microengineered hydrogels for tissue engineering applications

Micro- and nanoscale technologies have been shown to be powerful techniques in addressing the current challenges in tissue engineering. These technologies have allowed for an unprecedented ability to control cell-cell, cell-microenvironment and cell-soluble factors interactions through miniaturized assays for high-throughput cell-based studies. Hydrogels are excellent scaffolding materials in tissue engineering because they generate three dimensional (3D) hydrated environments for cellular support resembling in vivo conditions. Our group has been actively involved in merging of complex 3D hydrogels, nanomaterials, and micro/nanoscale technologies to precisely control cellular microenvironments and create 3D vascularized tissue constructs. Our work encompasses a wide range of scientific subjects from materials science to biology. In this presentation, I will outline our work in the development of microscale hydrogels to modulate cell-microenvironment interactions for tissue engineering applications. I will also highlight some of the clinical applications of the engineered tissue constructs.

AnnabiDr. Nasim Annabi joined the Department of Chemical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in January 2015. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern, Dr. Annabi was an Instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) at Harvard Medical School (2014). Dr. Annabi joined Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow in 2011. Her research at Harvard involved engineering cardiac and vascular tissues, with a primary focus on the responses of cells and tissues to their microenvironment. During her postdoctoral research, Dr. Annabi developed technologies to engineer novel elastic and light-activated scaffolds for soft tissue repair. Dr. Annabi completed her PhD in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney in 2010. Her doctoral research focused on synthesizing advanced polymer-based biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Currently, Dr. Annabi has a joint appointment as a part time lecturer at Harvard Medical School.