EPSRC - Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine

Dr Asha Patel


Fellowship title:

Tailoring the biomaterial interface to engineer cell-substrate interactions

Project background:

Development of materials suited to biological environments is critical for a range of applications including support matrices for tissue engineering and in vivo delivery vehicles. Whilst there is good understanding of how bulk chemistry can be tailored to manipulate properties such as biodegradability and elasticity, optimisation of surface chemistry to control cellular behaviour is less understood. As a result many biomaterials for tissue engineering require modification with extracellular matrix proteins to stimulate interaction with cells such as supporting adhesion through integrin binding. Subsequent delamination of the intermediate protein layer can lead to failure of the underlying substrate as a support material. Rational design of biomaterials for regenerative medicine purposes is critical for the field to progress.

Project summary:

Chemical moieties identified from high throughput substrate screening experiments will be taken forward to decorate the surface of biomaterials to investigate if overall performance can be improved and to uncover mechanisms of cellular interaction with substrate chemistry.

Interaction with clinically relevant cells types will be primarily investigated.


  • Celiz A.D; Smith J; Patel A.K; Langer R; Anderson D.G; Barrett D.A; Young L; M.C Davies, Denning C; Alexander M.R. Chemically Diverse Polymer Microarrays and High Throughput Surface Characterisation: A Method for Discovery of Materials for Stem Cell Culture. Biomaterials Science 2014.
  • Rajamohan D, Matsa E, Kalra S, Crutchly J, Patel A, George V, Denning C. Current status of drug screening and disease modelling in human pluripotent stem cells. BioEssays 2013, 35(3):281-98

Project team:

Asha Patel1,3, Dan Anderson1, Morgan Alexander2, Chris Denning3 and Sian Harding4

1Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, School of Pharmacy

3Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering & Modelling, University of Nottingham

4National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London