BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 3 - Functional Biomimics
What is your research focus?
My background is in material science, where I focused on biomaterials. My research interests lie in emulating the physiological and pathological conditions of the cardiac in-vitro model. This model will replicate the cardiac tissue's mechanical, extracellular matrix, and electrical conditions. To imitate this kind of tissue, protein patterning on the substrate can elongate the cells to the desired configuration, healthy and disease models. My research question is about shedding light on cardiac remodeling, hypertrophy, hypercontractility, and fibrosis because it remains to be seen. I use static models on polyacrylamide hydrogels and dynamic models on cell-stretcher devices made of silicone elastomers with protein patterning by microcontact printing and liftoff onto the substrates. The approach to developing new substrate materials and techniques of protein patterning is aligned with the SET 3 Functional Biomimics. In addition, this project aligns with the BioPACIFIC MIP mission to progress synthetic biology through developing novel bio-inspired functional materials for biomimicry-relevant biological conditions.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
Upon completing my Ph.D., I aspire to become a professor in bioengineering, materials science, and mechanical engineering. In this way, I want to acquire entrepreneurial skills and a sense of current the market is evolving. The BioPACIFIC MIP Fellows and Affiliates Program offers a unique opportunity for me to build bridges between academic and industry environments through its workshops and resources. Their professional development activities greatly expand my limits as a science communicator. Joining a diverse cohort of scientists and engineers from different disciplines will help me gain new research insights and improve my communication skills. My work involves protein patterning in silicone elastomer and polyacrylamide hydrogels within specialized facilities like the Microfluidics Lab and Nanostructures Cleanroom Facility, which exemplify the collaborative nature of a Materials Innovation Platform (MIP) infrastructure web. By becoming a BioPACIFIC MIP Fellow, I can access enhanced training resources in biomaterials and join a supportive community that will aid in my professional advancement as a principal investigator.