BME Seminar Series: Dr. Eben Alsberg, Case Western Reserve
"Modular Inductive High-Density Cell Culture Systems for Engineering Complex Tissues"
High-density cultures of cells can mimic immature condensates present during many developmental and healing processes. Presenting specific soluble signals, such as growth factors, exogenously in tissue culture media can regulate cell behavior in these cultures and promote new tissue formation. However, shortcomings of this approach include transport issues, limited spatial control over signal presentation, and required repeated dosing in the media. We have engineered technology that overcomes these challenges by incorporating polymer microspheres containing bioactive signals within the high-density cell cultures, which permits localized spatial and temporal control over the presentation of these regulatory cues to the cells. In this talk, I will present our research using this strategy to engineer a variety of tissues, including bone, cartilage and trachea. The capacity to deliver diverse signals, including growth factors and plasmid DNA, for driving new tissue formation will be demonstrated. In addition, the value of this technology for engineering a wide range of tissue shapes, including spheres, sheets, rings and tubes will be shown. Finally, the utility of providing cell-instructive bioactive factors from biomaterials in a controlled manner for the assembly of modular tissue units to engineer complex constructs comprised of multiple tissue types will be explored.
Dr. Alsberg took a faculty position in 2005 at Case Western Reserve University, where he is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery and serves as Director of the Stem Cell and Engineered Novel Therapeutics Laboratory. His lab focuses on the engineering of new technologies to regenerate tissues and treat diseases through the development of novel biomaterials and microenvironments. He’s co-authored over 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, and his work has been recognized with the 2008 Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, the Crain’s Cleveland Business 2009 Forty Under 40 Award, a Visiting Professorship at Kyung Hee University (Korea) and a Lady Davis Fellowship at the Technion (Israel). The NIH, DOD, NSF, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Coulter Foundation, the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the State of Ohio and the AO Foundation have funded his lab’s research.