BioE Seminar: Tissue Inspired Hydrogels to Understand Breast Cancer Metastasis and Drug Resistance
Abstract: Improved in vitro models are needed to better understand cancer progression and bridge the gap between in vitro proof-of-concept studies, in vivo validation, and clinical application. Many methods exist to create biomaterial platforms, including hydrogels, which we use to study cells in contexts more akin to what they experience in vivo. Our lab has multiple approaches to create such biomaterials, based on combinations of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) with peptides and zwitterions. In this presentation, I will discuss our findings in using these cell culture environments to understand the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM): ligand density, stiffness, geometry, etc., in controlling cancer cell innate drug response via adaptive signaling.