You are invited to attend two Seminars given by Tenure-track Faculty Candidate

Dr. Sasha Cai Lesher-Perez.

Teaching Seminar:  Tuesday, February 11 from 10:00-11:00 a.m., Peterson 2000 (videoconferencing to KJH 254)

Title: Tissue engineering and estimating nutrient uptake.

In this seminar we will have a brief description of non-vascularized biological tissue models, and where they may be found. We will then jump into how to estimate nutrient consumption and uptake rate, focusing on oxygen, in the culture systems. We will cover using steady state diffusion and the geometry of the tissue to impact our tissue culture method and considerations.

Research Seminar: Tuesday, February 11 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Exploratory L111, (videoconferencing to KJH 254)

Title: Micro-construction -- Building homes of the future for the modern cell

Efforts to close the gap between in vitro to in vivo model systems have produced technologies that more effectively evaluate spatial, structural, and mechanical control mechanisms (e.g., the move from two-dimensional to three-dimensional cultures). While biology works in rhythms, the methods for in vitro models are almost completely void of this temporal component. Timed oscillations applied in vitro primarily rely on two-dimensional cultures due to the difficulty of perfusing three-dimensional tissue cultures. However, this approach disregards cellular and tissue function in the more native, three-dimensional state.

One prime example are hormones; glucocorticoids fluctuate as a function of both the circadian rhythm and stress. Yet the majority of published work regarding glucocorticoids applies bolus treatments, which does not capture the basal and stressed oscillations expected in vivo. Of specific interest to me is the role of stress on hormonal dysregulation and disease progression in association with chronic and heightened stress.

In this talk, I will cover my previous work on two technology platforms. First, I will discuss the development of microfluidic self-regulating circuits as a tool to produce modular chemical profiles on-chip at different timescales. Microfluidic self-regulating circuits are small-footprint systems with embedded fluidic operations that enable multiple biological experiments to be conducted in parallel in a user-friendly fashion. Second, I will describe microparticle building blocks for the generation of customizable porous scaffolds. Fabricating microparticles enables a bottom-up approach to engineer the chemical, mechanical, and geometric properties of these tissue-culture scaffold building blocks. Finally, I will discuss my future research program in which these two technologies will merge to implement hormonal rhythms in easily perfusable three-dimensional culture systems. This work will parametrize the role of stress-associated glucocorticoid dysregulation on disease development and progression, with an initial goal of determining the plasticity of pancreatic secretory (beta, alpha, gamma) cells and the transition from a stress-associated compensatory state to a pre-diabetic state.

Please see attached flyer for more information.