Heilshorn Biomaterials Group

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Matthew Haugh

Postdoctoral Scholar

B.A., B.A.I. Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin

Ph.D. Tissue Engineering, Trinity College Dublin

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It has become clear that stem cells differentiate towards specific lineages depending on stiffness and ligand chemistry of the substrates on which they are attached. However, the majority of current work in this area has been carried out using 2D substrates, which provide considerably different stimuli in comparison to the 3D environment presented by many tissues. Therefore, the development of novel 3D matrices that allow independent control of matrix stiffness and ligand chemistry is essential to a better understanding of the role of cell-matrix interactions in regulating stem cell differentiation. Recombinant elastin-like proteins (ELPs) provide an ideal material for carrying out such studies as their structure can be controlled at the level of the amino acid peptide sequence. With this in mind, the aim of my project is to develop 3D microporous ELP matrices suitable for the study of cell-matrix interactions.