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Seminar Series 2019 – Lesley W. Chow, Ph.D.
April 9 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Lesley W. Chow, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering
“3D Printing Functional Building Blocks to Construct Spatially Organized Biomaterials”
The spatial arrangement of multiple extracellular matrix (ECM) components in biological tissues is intimately linked to the tissue’s function in the body. Disrupting this organization affects normal tissue function and properties, even if the overall composition remains the same. For example, the osteochondralinterface between bone and cartilage contains biochemical, structural, and mechanical gradients that are critical for load transfer and joint movement. Current techniques to repair this tissue typically result in poorly organized tissues that fail to restore normal biomechanical function. Inspired by native tissues, the Chow Lab focuses on developing strategies to combine and organize multiple bioactive components within a continuous scaffold. Our overarching goal is to fabricate biomaterials that guide heterogeneous ECM formation and organization, leading to engineered tissues with properties that more closely match their native counterparts. To achieve this, we developed a versatile platform where end-functionalized polymer conjugates are 3D printed into user-defined patterns. The conjugate’s functional groups (i.e., peptides, bioorthogonal chemistries) become displayed on the surface during fabrication to generate functionalized material constructs in a single step. Multiple chemistries can therefore be spatially organized within a single material by using different conjugates and multiple printer heads. In parallel, scaffold architecture can be independently and simultaneously controlled by changing the print pattern or nozzle diameter. This talk will discuss how we are using this modular platform to fabricate biomaterials to regenerate the osteochondral interface.
Dr. Lesley W. Chow is an assistant professor in both Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh University. Lesley was recently appointed to the Harold Chambers Junior Professorship. Prior to joining Lehigh University, Dr. Chow was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Molly Stevens in Materials & Bioengineering at Imperial College London. She completed her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in the laboratory of Dr. Samuel Strupp. Lesley was a Gator during her undergraduate degree, graduating with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida. During her career, Dr. Chow has published numerous papers at the interface of engineering and biology, and her lab at Lehigh University is now focused on designing and synthesizing modular biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. The Chow Lab aims to combine different materials and advanced fabrication techniques to generate scaffolds with architectures and spatially organized functionality that resemble native biological tissues. These scaffolds provide platforms to deepen understanding about how native tissue organization affects cell and tissue function across all scales and improve clinical translation of biomaterials.