Biomaterials, Cell-Based Therapies, and Mechanobiology

PI: Jan Stegemann, PhD

Cell function is controlled by the totality of the 3D environment. In particular, the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in tissues by providing and regulating biochemical and mechanical cues that guide cell function. Our laboratory focuses on how cells interact with the 3D protein matrix around them, and how these interactions can be used to develop better biomaterials and engineered tissues. The biologically-derived proteins collagen and fibrin are of particular interest, due to their role as structural proteins in tissues and the range of effects that these polymers can have on cell function. We are developing composite biomaterials that combine the structural and biochemical features of these polymers, and which also incorporate other proteins that direct cell function.

Follow the Research link to learn more about our work on understanding and controlling cell phenotype and function in 3D engineered extracellular matrices consisting of biological composite biomaterials. Current projects include biomaterials for cell delivery, defined extracellular microenvironments for directed stem cell differentiation, and new methods for characterizing the composition and mechanical properties of protein-based biomaterials.

About the PI:

Jan Stegemann is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Advanced Medical Product Engineering and Development Program at the University of Michigan. He received BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Prior to earning his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Stegemann worked for five years at Boston-based W.R. Grace & Co., where his research focused on cell-based bioartificial organs. His current research laboratory works on biomaterials, cell-based therapies, and the development of engineered tissues, with a focus on orthopaedic and vascular regeneration. Dr. Stegemann is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and a Fellow of Biomaterial Science and Engineering (SFB). As an educator, Dr. Stegemann has developed undergraduate and graduate courses in cell-matrix interactions, tissue engineering, and medical product development.