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Engineering Extracellular Matrix Signals Into Fibrous Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels, Ryan Joseph Wade Jan 2015

Engineering Extracellular Matrix Signals Into Fibrous Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels, Ryan Joseph Wade

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Hydrogels have gained widespread use in biomedical applications for their ability to mimic certain features of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) including tissue-like mechanics, water-swollen environments, and biodegradability. Despite these advantages, hydrogels typically do not present the fibrous architecture of natural ECM, even though this structure can guide cell behavior and tissue function. With this in mind, the overall goal of this dissertation is the translation of hydrogels from hyaluronic acid (HA) macromers into more complex, fibrous networks with spatiotemporal control. First, HA macromers that contain protease-cleavable and fluorescent peptides were synthesized and shown to form both isotropic hydrogels and ...


The Effect Of Cell Contractility And Packing On Extracellular Matrix And Soft Tissue Rheology, Anne Sofieke Geertruide Van Oosten Jan 2015

The Effect Of Cell Contractility And Packing On Extracellular Matrix And Soft Tissue Rheology, Anne Sofieke Geertruide Van Oosten

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In the past decades it has become clear that the mechanical properties of tissues are important for healthy functioning. The mechanical properties of tissues and their load-bearing components found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) have been tested mechanically to provide more insight. However, there is a discrepancy between tissue and ECM mechanics. In this thesis this discrepancy is investigated with a novel multiaxial rheology method, which addresses a physiologically relevant combination of shear and axial strains. Blood clots are used to study the effect of cell traction and cell packing on ECM mechanics.

The results show that ECM networks compression ...