The morphological characteristics and the mechanical properties of advanced biomaterials are the determining factors for their successful applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. In drug delivery, the morphology and the mechanical properties of synthetic biomaterials determine the tissue distribution and the ultimate fate of the drug carriers. Depending on the shape, size and porosity of polymeric particles, the kinetics and the mechanisms of cellular internationalization can be dramatically different. In the context of tissue engineering, the structures of scaffolding materials, from the molecular level to the macroscopic scale, determine the mechanical properties, solute diffusion and cell-matrix interactions. Indeed, Nature modulates the mechanical properties of biological tissues by subtle adjustments of its composition with a perceivable alteration of its nanoscale organization. Recent studies have confirmed the effects of matrix stiffness in controlling cell morphology, adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. An interesting new development in recent years is the alteration of materials structures in response to the applied chemical signals and mechanical stress and how these stimuli can be used to manipulate the spatial distribution of biological signals. The Microscopy and Mechanical Testing (MMT) Core, equipped with stateof- the-art imaging techniques, scattering tools and mechanical testing capabilities, is designed to answer these important questions. The MMT Core was established during previous COBRE funding years and will be strengthened and maintained by our COBRE team through new method developments. The MMT Core will be developed in two steps. The initial phase (years 1-3) focuses on cultivating user groups, facility development and staff training, leading to the mature phase (years 4-5 &beyond) where the Core will be self- sustained with user-fees.

Public Health Relevance

The ability to develop advanced biomaterials with customized control over morphological, mechanical and biological properties will lead to significant advancement in biomedical fields. The MMT Core will provide advanced characterization capabilities to help COBRE researchers gain fundamental understanding of structure-property relationship of their materials in the context of specific cellular and tissue environment. These studies will ultimately generate materials systems that are optimized for their targeted drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-C (C3))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Delaware
United States
Zip Code
Peng, Haowei; McKendry, Ian G; Ding, Ran et al. (2017) Redox properties of birnessite from a defect perspective. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:9523-9528
Perilla, Juan R; Zhao, Gongpu; Lu, Manman et al. (2017) CryoEM Structure Refinement by Integrating NMR Chemical Shifts with Molecular Dynamics Simulations. J Phys Chem B 121:3853-3863
Srinivasan, Padma Pradeepa; Patel, Vaishali N; Liu, Shuang et al. (2017) Primary Salivary Human Stem/Progenitor Cells Undergo Microenvironment-Driven Acinar-Like Differentiation in Hyaluronate Hydrogel Culture. Stem Cells Transl Med 6:110-120
Lambert, William D; Scinto, Samuel L; Dmitrenko, Olga et al. (2017) Computationally guided discovery of a reactive, hydrophilic trans-5-oxocene dienophile for bioorthogonal labeling. Org Biomol Chem 15:6640-6644
Yehl, Jenna; Kudryashova, Elena; Reisler, Emil et al. (2017) Structural Analysis of Human Cofilin 2/Filamentous Actin Assemblies: Atomic-Resolution Insights from Magic Angle Spinning NMR Spectroscopy. Sci Rep 7:44506
Guo, Chen; Kim, Heejae; Ovadia, Elisa M et al. (2017) Bio-orthogonal conjugation and enzymatically triggered release of proteins within multi-layered hydrogels. Acta Biomater 56:80-90
Wang, Mingzhang; Quinn, Caitlin M; Perilla, Juan R et al. (2017) Quenching protein dynamics interferes with HIV capsid maturation. Nat Commun 8:1779
Gao, Fei; Aminane, Soraya; Bai, Shi et al. (2017) Chemical Protection of Material Morphology: Robust and Gentle Gas-Phase Surface Functionalization of ZnO with Propiolic Acid. Chem Mater 29:4063-4071
Tressler, Caitlin M; Zondlo, Neal J (2017) Perfluoro-tert-butyl Homoserine Is a Helix-Promoting, Highly Fluorinated, NMR-Sensitive Aliphatic Amino Acid: Detection of the Estrogen Receptor·Coactivator Protein-Protein Interaction by 19F NMR. Biochemistry 56:1062-1074
Scott, Rebecca A; Kharkar, Prathamesh M; Kiick, Kristi L et al. (2017) Aortic adventitial fibroblast sensitivity to mitogen activated protein kinase inhibitors depends on substrate stiffness. Biomaterials 137:1-10

Showing the most recent 10 out of 100 publications