BME Lecture Series: Eben Alsberg, Case Western Reserve University

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Eben Alsberg, Ph.D.

Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery 

Abstract: High-density cultures of cells can mimic immature condensates present during many developmental and healing processes. Presenting specific soluble signals, such as growth factors, exogenously in tissue culture media can regulate cell behavior in these cultures and promote new tissue formation. However, shortcomings of this approach include transport issues, limited spatial control over signal presentation and required repeated dosing in the media. We have engineered technology that overcomes these challenges by incorporating microparticles containing bioactive signals within the high-density cell cultures, which permits localized spatial and temporal control over the presentation of these regulatory cues to the cells. In this talk, I will present our research using this strategy to engineer a variety of tissues, including bone, cartilage and trachea. The capacity to deliver diverse signals, including growth factors and plasmid DNA, for driving new tissue formation will be demonstrated. In addition, the value of this technology for engineering a wide range of tissue shapes, including spheres, sheets, rings and tubes will be examined. Finally, the utility of providing cell-instructive bioactive factors from biomaterials in a controlled manner for the assembly of modular tissue units to engineer complex constructs comprised of multiple tissue types will be explored.

Bio: Eben Alsberg is a professor of biomedical engineering and orthopaedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University, where he serves as director of the Stem Cell and Engineered Novel Therapeutics Laboratory. His lab focuses on engineering new technologies to regenerate tissues and treat diseases through development of novel biomaterials and microenvironments. He’s co-authored ~110 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, and his work has been recognized with the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, the Crain’s Cleveland Business Forty Under 40 Award, and visiting professorships in Korea and Israel. Multiple government and private agencies have funded his research.

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