Chemotaxis is described as the directed or oriented movement of cells in response to a chemical stimulus, known as a chemoattractant (e.g., growth factor, chemokine, etc.). It is an important physiological process involved in the recruitment of inflammatory cells and stem cells in response to tissue damage for wound healing and tissue maintenance/repair. In TEST Lab, we study the chemotactic behavior of cells in conjunction with biomaterials using a novel three-dimensional chemotaxis assay for live cell imaging that allows long-term, precise monitoring of cellular migration. Unlike traditional two-dimensional assays (e.g., Boyden chamber), cells are embedded within an extracellular matrix (ECM)-like gel matrix and exposed to chemoattractants to closely mimic in vivo settings. In particular, we develop decellularized ECM gels derived from cartilage tissue to investigate its chemotactic potential on chondrocytes and MSCs. Our goal is to engineer three-dimensional implantable grafts that are capable of stimulating endogenous cell recruitment as a cell-free in situ tissue regeneration strategy.

Related Publications:

Golebiowska AA, Intravaia JT, Sathe VM, Kumbar SG, Nukavarapu SP. "Decellularized Extracellular Matrix Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies: Advances, Challenges, and Clinical Prospects," Bioact. Mater., 32, 2024.

Golebiowska AA, Jala VR, Nukavarapu SP. "Decellularized Tissue-Induced Cellular Recruitment for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine," Ann. Biomed. Eng., 51, 2023.