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Hydrogels for Cell Biomanufacturing

Presenters Name: 
Sarah Zagorin
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Steven Caliari
Secondary Research Mentor: 
9:30 - 10:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 9:30am to 10:15am
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Numerous cellular therapies require hundreds of millions of cells to be produced per patient. These large-scale cell cultures often use polystyrene microcarriers, but these surfaces do not typically allow for control of substrate properties, such as stiffness, that greatly influence cell fate. Hydrogels offer a tunable platform for cell culture that can influence stem cell differentiation and expansion and be used as a coating for microcarriers. Current methods of harvesting cells grown on hydrogels for down-stream applications commonly involve trypsin, an enzyme which works to release cells by breaking down proteins that facilitate cell adhesion. Treatment of cells with trypsin can decrease cell viability and function, making it an undesirable option for large-scale cell biomanufacturing. Studies have demonstrated cell harvest through thermoresponsive detachment retains desirable cell properties when compared to cells harvested using enzymatic digestion. This work seeks to formulate a tunable, thermoresponsive hydrogel that releases cells in response to a change in temperature for application as a microcarrier coating. Control of material properties such as stiffness will enable influence of cell fate used for specific therapies. Specifically, this study is working to develop a thermoresponsive hydrogel through incorporation of thermoresponsive polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAm). This study includes producing pNIPAm coated coverslips using spin coating methods, to observe cell release from a pNIPAm coated surface. Additionally, thiol-terminated pNIPAm will be synthesized using reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization methods and incorporated into a norbornene functionalized hyaluronic acid (NorHA) hydrogel, to create a thermoresponsive biomaterial platform with easily modifiable mechanical properties.