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Effect of crosslinking on the structure and mechanics of cell-encapsulated fibrin gel constructs

Carlo Jauregui - Biomedical Engineering Department, SJSU

Dr. Anand Ramasubramanian

Technical Advisor:

FXIII, a crucial enzyme in blood coagulation, plays a pivotal role in crosslinking fibrin networks, essential for wound healing and clotting. This study aims to quantify the effects of FXIII-mediated crosslinking on the structural and mechanical properties of fibrin networks, particularly focusing on the contractility of cells. Tissue-engineering constructs of fibroblasts encapsulated in crosslinked or uncrosslinked fibrin gels will be utilized. Objective 1 involves examining fibroblast-encapsulated fibrin gels' contractility and strength. Objective 2 aims to quantify fibroblast-fibrin interactions in 2D settings, while Objective 3 focuses on 3D environments. Expected outcomes include differences in fiber density and alignment between crosslinked and uncrosslinked fibrin networks, potentially elucidating the dynamics of crosslinked fibrin network properties. Furthermore, interactions between fibroblasts and fibrin fibers are expected to influence cell spreading and contractile force generation. Insights from this research may contribute to understanding cellular behavior within fibrin matrices, advancing fields such as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This work holds significance in optimizing fibrin-based biomaterials for wound healing applications and improving treatments for clotting disorders.

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