Biomimetic Hydrogels for Directing Cell and Tissue Growth

Biomimetic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels have physical properties that approximate those of the soft tissues of the body and offer physical and biochemical control that make them ideal substrates for many cell and tissue applications.  In the West Lab, we use these materials in strategies to produce small diameter vascular grafts and bone, among other tissues.  We are also investigating the influence of hydrogel material properties on a variety of cell types, including progenitor cells.  Recent efforts have concentrated on developing materials that promote the development of a functional microvascular network so that more complex engineered tissues can be fabricated and then successfully integrated into the body.

Current Projects:

Tissue Engineered Heart Valves
Directed Microvasculature Formation
Functional Tissues within Microfluidic Devices
Cell Microencapsulation to Promote Bone Formation
Effects of the ECM on Lung Cancer Metastasis