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Engineering Biomimetic Materials: Modulating the Immune System for Enhanced Tissue Regeneration

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 10 am

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Biomedical Engineering Faculty Candidate Seminar

Ni Su, PhD

Stanford University School of Medicine


The healing process after tissue injury is accompanied by a series of immune responses. The type and duration of the immune response orchestrate the crosstalk with stem cells and can greatly change the outcome from impaired healing to complete regeneration. While biomaterials have been widely used in facilitating tissue regeneration, their existing potential to induce regenerative immune responses remains understudied. My research aims to uncover the immune mechanisms in tissue injuries and innovate biomaterial-based immunotherapy for enhanced regeneration. Throughout my research career, I have engineered biomaterials with biomimetic cues from secretory exosomes, cell membranes, and extracellular matrix as cell-free approaches to modulate the innate and adaptive immune players towards regenerative states during tissue injuries. The resulting favorable immune environment further led to enhanced regeneration in multiple tissue types, from large skin wounds to critical-sized bone defects. Furthermore, leveraging 3D in vitro immune crosstalk model design and in vivo single-cell transcriptomics, we have identified novel crosstalk mechanisms between the immune system and stem cells in the context of biomaterials. Taken together, my studies offer innovative insights into the rational design of the next generation of immunomodulatory biomaterials for regenerative medicine with broader applications in aging and cancer immunotherapy.

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