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Title:Engineering biomaterial surfaces with N-cadherin
Author(s):Vega Leonel, Johana Carolina
Director of Research:Kong, Hyun Joon; Leckband, Deborah E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kong, Hyun Joon
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Leckband, Deborah E.; Gillette, Martha U.; Cox, Charles L.
Department / Program:School of Molecular & Cell Bio
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Neural Network
Biomedical Devices
Growth Factors
Stem Cell and Cortical Neurons
Abstract:N-cadherin is a key protein that is responsible for cellular adhesion to neighboring cells in mesenchymal tissues. It plays a significant role in neural development, regeneration, and pathological processes. Recently, efforts were increasingly made to better understand biological function of N-cadherin and further harness it in the assembly of biomedical devices used for sensing, diagnosis, and treatments. One of the greatest challenges in these efforts is to control the type and number of N-cadherin molecules involved in cell-cell adhesion. To address this challenge, this study utilizes recombinant N-cadherin molecules to examine biomolecular effects on cellular adhesion, angiogenic factor secretion, and neural network formation. First, cell-cell adhesion was reproduced by tethering the recombinant N-Cadherin to hydrogel surfaces (Chapter 2). Second, soluble N-Cadherin was introduced into clusters of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) to examine their effects on cellular secretion of vascular endothelial growth factors and subsequent vascular network formation (Chapter 3). The soluble N-Cadherin was also used to modulate neural differentiation of BMSC clusters (Chapter 4). Finally, N-cadherin was biologically coupled to a microchanneled hydrogel to examine its effects on 3D neural differentiation of BMSCs and subsequent 3D neural network formation (Chapter 5). Overall the knowledge gained from this work may assist current efforts to better understand emergent cellular behavior and also enhance the performance of biomedical devices.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Johana Carolina Marisol Vega Leonel
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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