Synthetic Designer Matrices for Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Transplantation

Date(s) - 01/27/2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Communicore, C1-11

Woojin M. Han, Ph.D., Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow, Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology Synthetic Designer Matrices for Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Transplantation

Function and regenerative potential of skeletal muscle decline with trauma, aging, and diseases, where the loss of muscle quality is attributed to reduced muscle stem (satellite) cell number and function. Inadequate regeneration of muscle in these conditions leads to debilitating consequences, including long-term disabilities and reduced quality of life. Although transplantation of muscle satellite cells is emerging as a promising strategy to enhance muscle regeneration, direct intramuscular injection of cells is limited by sub-optimal survival, retention, and engraftment. In this seminar, I will discuss approaches to systematically engineer a synthetic cell-instructive matrix that promotes primary muscle stem cell function, including survival, proliferation, migration, and differentiation, as well as strategies to efficiently transplant muscle stem cells for treating traumatically injured limb muscles and dystrophic diaphragms.


Dr. Woojin Han completed his BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester, and his MSE and PhD degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His graduate work focused on understanding tissue-to-cell mechanical strain transfer and strain-induced calcium signaling in fiber-reinforced musculoskeletal soft tissues. Dr. Han is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is engineering synthetic designer matrices for facilitating skeletal muscle stem cell transplantation in muscle injuries and diseases. He is a recipient of Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship for Translational Research on Aging and NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship. His future research program will integrate concepts of biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and stem cell biology to establish translational technologies for musculoskeletal soft tissue regeneration by harnessing tissue-specific cell-matrix interactions.