Luo Lab:Research

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Interactions between cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) play pivotal roles in directing 
cellular and tissue functions.  However, due to the ultra complexity of biological systems, 
our current understanding of cell-ECM processes and our capability to control the relevant 
events have been rather limited.  By integrating our knowledge in material science and 
engineering, microfabrication and biology, our research is aimed at designing engineered 
extracellular microenvironment for understanding and controlling cell behavior.  This work 
can facilitate the analysis and identification of essential extracellular cues, which can 
be further applied to 2-D and 3-D artificial systems to monitor, trigger or modulate biological 
processes.  On one application front, our materials and devices are geared toward controlling
stem cell fate and directing stem cell differentiation for use of regenerative medicine.  
On another application front, it is our interest to build targeted and triggerable delivery 
systems for therapeutic compounds/cells to improve treatment outcomes.