Jorge Almodovar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Ray C. Adam Chair Chemical Engineering
Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Arkansas
Title: Cell behavior enhancement by collagen/heparin layered coatings
Abstract: In this talk, collagen (COL) and heparin (HEP) layered coatings prepared via the layer-by-layer assembly will be presented as a robust coating to enhance cell behavior. We performed an exhaustive characterization of the COL/HEP coatings confirming their construction, chemistry, and their stability at body temperature. We evaluated the response of both human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) and Schwann cells (SCs) cultured on these coatings as well as in the presence of modulatory cytokines. Our results show that hMSCs cultured on COL/HEP coatings have a better response to soluble interferon-gamma regarding proliferation, protein expression, and cell morphology as compared to the uncoated culture plates. SCs cultured on COL/HEP coatings also demonstrated an enhancement in growth and response to the nerve growth factor as compared to the uncoated culture plates. These COL/HEP coatings have strong potential to enhance the manufacturing of hMSCs or to serve as coatings for nerve implants.
Bio: Jorge Almodovar joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas (U of A) as the Ray C. Adam Chair in August 2018 as an assistant professor. He also serves as the director for the Arkansas LSAMP Bridge-to-the-Doctorate program. He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University (CSU). At CSU he investigated the delivery and stability of growth factors using polysaccharide-based biomaterials. After CSU, he worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Grenoble Institute of Technology in Grenoble, France investigating the formation of gradients on polyelectrolyte multilayer films, funded by the Whitaker International Program. Prior to joining U of A, he was a faculty member at the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez where he began an active research group. His research interests include extracellular matrix mimetic biomaterials, cell-material interactions, and biomaterials as therapeutics. His research focus is on the engineering of biomimetic materials—inspired by the native cell environment—for fundamental studies, cell manufacturing, tissue engineering, therapeutics, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. His research team also focuses on developing electrospun materials for applications in healthcare and water treatment. He is an author of 27 peer-reviewed research articles and 5 book chapters, and an editor for one textbook. He has served as a peer-reviewer for federal grant proposals and for multiple journals in the biomaterials field. He also serves as a member of the ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering early career board.
Department of Chemical Engineering