Seminar Series: Adrianne M. Rosales, Ph.D.

Adrianne M. Rosales, Ph.D.

Date(s) - 02/21/2023
9:15 am - 10:15 am

New Engineering Building – Room 201


Adrianne M. Rosales, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Title: Expanding the Functionality of Engineered Extracellular Matrices with Peptoids

Abstract: Hydrogels have garnered intense interest as engineered extracellular matrices due to their tailorable permeability, mechanics, and degradability. Synthetic materials are attractive due to their known chemical compositions and reproducibility, but the challenge with their use lies in the lack of complexity as compared to biological systems, especially with regard to sequence-specific bioactivity. Hence, our work aims to expand the toolbox for building complexity and functionality into synthetic hydrogel biomaterials by using precise polymer architectures, specifically those of peptoids. Here, we describe our efforts to control two key properties of hydrogels with peptoid functionality: 1) bulk mechanics and 2) enzymatic degradability. Using peptoid crosslinkers, we achieved control over the mechanics of hydrogel platforms by varying monomer sequence and chain structure, in a fashion reminiscent of semiflexible biopolymers. Specifically, helical peptoids increased the shear moduli of hydrogels due to increased chain stiffness as compared to non-helical peptoids, while keeping all other hydrogel parameters fixed. These changes in mechanics impacted the amount of secreted stem cell factors such as indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), leading to conditions that promoted more therapeutically relevant cells. Furthermore, we examined the ability of peptoids to tune hydrogel degradability via proteolysis. We substituted peptoids into key sites of proteolytically degradable substrates, enabling a tailored material response to matrix metalloproteinases secreted by cells. Overall, our results suggest that sequence control of synthetic peptoids may provide effective strategies for expanding the functionality of biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering, particularly with respect to mechanics and degradation in complex biological environments.

Bio: Adrianne Rosales is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UT Austin and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC-Berkeley. After completing her Ph.D. in 2013, she trained at the University of Colorado Boulder as an NIH NRSA post-doctoral fellow. Adrianne’s group at UT Austin focuses on the development of bioinspired polymeric materials to model cellular microenvironments and engineer therapeutic technologies. This work has received emerging investigator recognitions from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the NIH, the NSF, the American Chemical Society Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division, and the journals Biomaterials Science and Journal of Materials Chemistry B.