Michelle Sun

Grantee Type:
Home Institution:
Cornell University
Host Country, Institution:
South Africa, University of Cape Town
Project Title:
Valvular Interstitial Cell Interaction within Matrix Metalloproteinase Degradable 3-D PEG Hydrogel
Project Abstract:
Tissue engineering valves using biomaterials that can guide tissue formation is a promising solution for the construction of affordable and durable valve replacements. Studying valvular interstitial cell (VIC) interaction with the more physiological 3-D cell culture system developed by the Zilla lab allows for more relevant study of VIC biology. My project will involve: 1) isolating VICs and developing a 3-D synthetic hydrogel culture system with specific matrix metalloproteinase degradation sites for the cells and 2) evaluating the effect of gel degradability on VIC migration, invasion, and morphology. This project will also draw upon my experience in the Butcher lab with VIC isolation techniques and enable optimization of scaffolds for valvular engineering.