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author:("padmanabha, S")
1.  Cell Migration on Planar and Three-Dimensional Matrices: A Hydrogel-Based Perspective 
The migration of cells is a complex process that is dependent on the properties of the surrounding environment. In vivo, the extracellular environment is complex with a wide range of physical features, topographies, and protein compositions. There have been a number of approaches to design substrates that can recapitulate the complex architecture in vivo. Two-dimensional (2D) substrates have been widely used to study the effect of material properties on cell migration. However, such substrates do not capture the intricate structure of the extracellular environment. Recent advances in hydrogel assembly and patterning techniques have enabled the design of new three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds and microenvironments. Investigations conducted on these matrices provide growing evidence that several established migratory trends obtained from studies on 2D substrates could be significantly different when conducted in a 3D environment. Since cell migration is closely linked to a wide range of physiological functions, there is a critical need to examine migratory trends on 3D matrices. In this review, our goal is to highlight recent experimental studies on cell migration within engineered 3D hydrogel environments and how they differ from planar substrates. We provide a detailed examination of the changes in cellular characteristics such as morphology, speed, directionality, and protein expression in 3D hydrogel environments. This growing field of research will have a significant impact on tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and in the design of biomaterials.
PMCID: PMC4321976  PMID: 25011932
2.  Polyelectrolyte Multilayers in Tissue Engineering 
The layer-by-layer assembly of sequentially adsorbed, alternating polyelectrolytes has become increasingly important over the past two decades. The ease and versatility in assembling polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) has resulted in numerous wide ranging applications of these materials. More recently, PEMs are being used in biological applications ranging from biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery. The ability to manipulate the chemical, physical, surface, and topographical properties of these multilayer architectures by simply changing the pH, ionic strength, thickness, and postassembly modifications render them highly suitable to probe the effects of external stimuli on cellular responsiveness. In the field of regenerative medicine, the ability to sequester growth factors and to tether peptides to PEMs has been exploited to direct the lineage of progenitor cells and to subsequently maintain a desired phenotype. Additional novel applications include the use of PEMs in the assembly of three-dimensional layered architectures and as coatings for individual cells to deliver tunable payloads of drugs or bioactive molecules. This review focuses on literature related to the modulation of chemical and physical properties of PEMs for tissue engineering applications and recent research efforts in maintaining and directing cellular phenotype in stem cell differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3062467  PMID: 21210759

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