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Modular and Composite Approaches to Engineering Challenging Tissues with Polysaccharide Materials

October 26, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

ChE Seminar Series Presents:

Howard W.T. Matthew, PhD

Professor, Chemical Engineering, Wayne State University


Polysaccharides have long been recognized as polymeric materials with an array of properties that have made them indispensable for applications ranging from adhesives to property-enhancing nanomaterials.  As a result, they have found wide acceptance as food and drug additives.  Over the past thirty years, a growing body of work has served to raise their profile as effectors and modulators of receptor-based phenomena including immune recognition as well as cell-matrix, cell-pathogen, and cell-growth factor interactions.  However, these materials remained underutilized as components of implantable systems.  Within the last decade, the explosion of research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has increased demand for biologically active materials, and polysaccharides are receiving greater attention for their ability to facilitate tissue assembly and organization in vitro and in vivo.  While many polysaccharides possess potentially useful biological activities, their mode of application has mainly been in bulk hydrogel form.  The Matthew group has been working with polyelectrolyte ionic complexes formed between oppositely charged polysaccharides.  These ionic complex membranes can be rendered as hollow microcapsules of controllable size.  This presentation will describe our ongoing studies focused on deploying these capsules as a versatile tool for generating tissue organoids and as a platform for assembling vascularized tissues with a range of physical and biological properties.


Howard Matthew is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan.  He received a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering (1984) from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.  After two years in the food processing industry, he joined Wayne State University for graduate studies, receiving an M.S. degree in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1992.  He conducted two years of postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital.  He then joined the WSU faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1994.  He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Early Faculty CAREER Award (1996), and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, 2012).  His research spans the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering, focusing on the use of polysaccharide materials in tissue design and assembly.  His work has two broad themes: modulating the mechanics and biological activity of polysaccharide materials; and developing methods to apply these materials in cell and tissue-based therapies.  Target applications include: heart valves for pediatric applications, designing transplantable liver tissue, and regeneration of musculoskeletal structures after surgical or traumatic loss.  To date, Prof. Matthew has been research supervisor for over 40 graduate students 55 undergraduates and 43 high school students.



October 26, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


236 Richards
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate, Graduate, Faculty