ChBE Seminar Series: Eric Furst
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Eng. Bldg.
Professor F. Joseph Schork
Microrheology and rapid screening of therapeutic hydrogelators
Presented by Eric M. Furst
Department of Chemical Engineering and
Center for Molecular and Engineering Thermodynamics
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
Continued advances in structural biology and the quantitative understanding of biomacromolecular and cellular behavior have created new opportunities for the rational design of bioactive hydrogel materials. Hydrogel structure, rheology, epitope presentation, growth factor sequestration, and transient properties such as erosion have emerged as key design parameters in tissue scaffold and drug delivery applications. Our recent collaborative efforts have focused on engineering new erodible materials based on the interactions of proteins and polysaccharides of relevance in the extracellular matrix (ECM). These matrices are capable of sequestering and controllably delivering high percentages of active growth factors. Microrheology has played a critical role in our effort, primarily as a means for characterizing assembly and corresponding rheology early in the materials development process. In this talk, I will present studies of the microrheology of physical and chemical polymer gels as they pass through the liquid-solid transition, with a focus on the physics of this critical phenomenon. Following this, I will discuss recent work to rapidly generate rheological libraries using microrheology. This enables us to identify regimes of hydrogel formation in a large composition parameter space, while conserving both material and time. High throughput microrheology leads to new insight into the assembly mechanisms and mechanics of hydrogelators, which are then be used for further materials development, optimization and processing.