Mechanotransduction of epiphyseal chondro-progenitors in 3D hydrogel system.
Of the many external factors that affect cell behavior, mechanical cues are fundamental in modulating a cell’s phenotype. Biomimetic mechanosensing requires the three-dimensional encapsulation of cells within a controlled microenvironment. As musculoskeletal tissues are both routinely subjected and highly sensitive to mechanical cues, studying the effect of substrate properties on cellular behavior takes on a more complex angle when looked at in 3D, as is the case in vivo. This project will therefore focus on evaluating the phenotypic modulation of epiphyseal chondro-progenitors in hyaluronic acid based hydrogels both in static, free swelling culture conditions as well as the effect of dynamic unconfined compression, looking at differentially regulated cell markers which may prove fundamental for cartilage tissue regeneration.