Year 1

The long-term goal of this grant is to accelerate clinical translation of stem cell-based therapy for regenerative medicine by enhancing cell delivery, survival, and integration, thus improving therapeutic outcomes, substantially reducing the number of cells needed for transplantation, and reducing the associated time and cost to produce these cells. During the past reporting period (year 1), our interdisciplinary team comprised of basic and clinician scientists have made substantial progress on developing injectable µRB-based hydrogels with tunable chemical and physical properties. We have conducted extensive in vitro studies to confirm its efficacy in supporting stem cell viability, proliferation and new tissue deposition. For clinical translation, we have optimized microribbon formulations that support fat graft delivery. Having now optimized the mixing and grafting techniques with the optimized microribbon formulation, we are now continuing with the long-term studies of fat graft retention. In the next report period, we will focus on measuring the functional improvement by monitoring stem cell survival using BLI and fat volume retention using micro-CT imaging over time. Meanwhile, we will also start assessing the efficacy of µRB-based scaffolds for supporting stem cell engraftment and bone regeneration in a murine cranial defect model.