“This is a great research project because it’s an interesting balance between biological engineering and materials engineering.”
We enjoyed getting to know Brown University biomedical engineering student Kelly Williams during this summer’s Nanotechnology and Biomedicine REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at the University of Georgia. Working in Dr. Luke Mortensen’s lab, Kelly explored strategies for using nitric oxide to reduce the adhesion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) when they’re introduced into the body to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue.
Since intravenously administered stem cells often become trapped in the lung and liver, very few cells make it to the target organ. Long term, engineering MSCs to selectively target the bone and survive will enable treatment of debilitating bone diseases.