Cells are known to exhibit altered behavior in response to the stiffness of the material to which they are anchored, as well as to the nature of peptide ligands available for them to bind to. We are exploring the reasons behind this behavior and how it can be manipulated to alter macrophage response and stem cell differentiation and behaviour.
We are currently developing novel polymer formulations for the sustained and local delivery of peptides, growth factors, and small molecules for applications ranging from bone regeneration to therapeutic angiogenesis to ocular delivery.
As part of the CONNECT! NSERC CREATE Program in Soft Connective Tissue Regeneration/Therapy we are currently developing adipose-derived stem cell based therapies to regenerate damaged articular cartilage, ligaments, the nucleus of the intervertebral disc, and adipose tissue.
Dr. Lauren Flynn (Western University)
Utilizing a variety of monomer synthesis approaches primarily based on the preparation of functionalized monomers capable of ring-opening polymerization, we are developing photoactivatable, biodegradable polymers for drug delivery, elastomers as scaffold materials for load-bearing soft tissues, and hydrogels for stem cell delivery capable of withstanding long-term mechanical loading.