Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Cell Signals for Regeneration

Samuel I. Stupp

Northwestern University, IL, USA


Research interests

Professor Stupp's areas of research include molecular self-assembly, supramolecular organic nanostructures, electronic and photonic properties of organic materials, biomolecular mineralization, templating chemistry of inorganic nanostructures, and biomaterials for regenerative medicine, including the central nervous system, organ cell transplantation, bone, and cartilage.

Website: The Stupp Laboratory


Speaker abstract

Regeneration of human tissues and organs can have extraordinary impact on quality of life and the cost of health care, both issues of critical importance when the average lifespan of world populations continues to rise.  As the relevant biological pathways become better understood, chemistry can play a key role in implementing novel therapies.  This lecture describes strategies that utilize supramolecular self-assembly to create peptide-based nanoscale filaments with chemical structures that mimic certain aspects of the signaling machinery of cells involved in tissue growth. Examples to be covered in this lecture include formation of blood vessels which is critically important in regenerative medicine, bone and enamel formation, as well as development of neural tissues.  Complex systems for signaling will also be described which take the form of artificial cells or tracts of aligned supramolecular fibers that can guide cell migration in regenerative processes.  Both of these systems are created through self-assembly strategies involving modified peptides or their interactions with charged biopolymers.

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