Directing Cell Behaviour
Our multidisciplinary team of cell biologists and physical scientists are creating 2D and 3D environments with definable and controllable physical, chemical and electrical properties to interrogate and direct cell behaviours.
We look at the control of cell behaviour and ensuing function results from a complex integration of:
- and physical signals
Reproducing and studying this complex integration of signals, and particularly in mixed cell populations in 2D and 3D environments, is a significant challenge.
We use a range of synthetic approaches to develop peptide and polymer based biomaterial surfaces able to direct the fate of adhered cells and use stimuli such as light or enzymes to dynamically control the cell-material interaction.
Polymer microparticles (white) with mammalian cells attached (blue)
To control the cell-material interaction and appropriately design a biointerface, it is essential to understand which biomaterial surface properties cells respond to. We have extensive expertise in using surface and interface analysis tools on biomaterial and biological samples and perform advanced data analysis to establish correlations between material properties and cell response. We are further developing and applying ToF-SIMS for label free 3D chemical imaging of biomaterials and cells.
Key and notable projects in this area include; a non-viral, peptide-based nanotechnology delivery platform for efficient gene delivery and targeting; wireless electroceutical devices for electrochemical signalling and monitoring; enzyme and light controllable surfaces for selective recruitment and control of cell attachment and signalling; holographic optical tweezers for precision positioning of cells and building micro tissues with definable compositions and organization of cells.