Rhines Hall Room 125
Gainesville, FL 32611
Join MSE for light refreshments and a rousing discussion on cell-side engineering by Dr. Joe Decker.
Many materials are designed in vitro, but fail in vivo due to a limited understanding of biological interactions. Biomaterial design therefore requires appreciation of both material properties (i.e. chemical, physical) and cell-based interactions (i.e. cell signaling, protein adhesion) in order to be successful. My research focuses on developing tools to address both the physical and biological aspects of design for a variety of biomedical applications. Analytically, we have developed the Surface Energetics Attachment (SEA) model, a free energy approach to predicting biofouling on engineered surfaces. The SEA model can be successfully used to predict fouling on a topographically modified surface for marine organisms with a diverse array of attachment mechanisms. Experimentally, we have developed TRACER, a high-throughput cell array that captures dynamic intracellular activity in living cells. TRACER can be easily adapted to any culture condition, and we have applied it to cancer biology, immune polarization and design of materials for regenerative medicine. Using TRACER, we have identified important biological mechanisms related to drug response that are not found using traditional characterization techniques and have used these mechanisms to develop strategies that maximize the response to therapy.