Darragh Crosbie

Project description

Cells sense their environment and react to environmental stimuli to proliferate, differentiate, or produce ECM. All of these processes are important in the context of tissue regeneration, where the material should drive the cellular response that regenerates tissue. Within MDR, I am interested in how stem cells respond to biomaterials and how these direct differentiation and proliferation of these cell types. Specifically, I research the roles of mechanosensitive ion channels in these processes. These ion channels open in response to mechanical stimuli causing an influx of ions, mainly Ca2+. Regulation of intracellular Ca2+ is known to effect stem cell differentiation and so I will investigate the changes in Ca2+ influx due to the mechanical properties of these biomaterials and how this relates to cell behaviour. Further, I will look to modulate the activity of these mechanosensitive ion channels to tailor the stem cell response to the biomaterial environment.

Techniques: RT-PCR, Western blot, live cell imaging, calcium imaging, IHC/IF, primary cell culture.
Keywords: Calcium signalling, ion channels, mechanosensation.