Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2021
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Fan Yang (Bioengineering, Orthopaedic Surgery) and Ashby Morrison (Biology)

Research Title: Enabling Stem Cells to “Zipline” in 3D: Enhancing Cartilage Regeneration using Sliding Hydrogels with Tunable Molecular Mobility

Research Description: Articular cartilage injury represents a leading cause of disability, yet effective therapies remain elusive. Hydrogels are attractive injectable biomaterials for mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based cartilage repair, yet generally lead to slow cartilage regeneration with poor mechanical strength. Furthermore, no hydrogels developed to date allow precise tuning of molecular mobility, which is critical for cells to re-organize the surrounding niche during cartilage development. The goal of Manish’s proposal is to validate sliding hydrogels with tunable mobility as a novel biomaterial tool to enhance MSC-based cartilage regeneration in vivo and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by characterizing involved mechanotransduction and chromatin biology.