Our laboratory engineers the biochemical and physical properties of materials in order to understand and control cell function. The primary challenge that we seek to address is modulating the host response to implanted biomaterials.
Our current work is focused on elucidating the mechanisms underlying immune cell plasticity, since these cells play a major role in determining whether the body attacks or accepts an implanted foreign material. A better understanding of the complex interactions involved in this process requires an interdisciplinary approach combining engineering tools with biological techniques. To this end, we utilize micro- and nano-fabrication tools, protein engineering, high throughput screening approaches, and bio-conjugation techniques to create novel materials that mimic features of the physiological cellular microenvironment.
We believe that the appropriate modulation of the immune system can encourage tissue regeneration and wound healing, and will benefit a number of biomedical applications. Our long-term goal is to control the host response to implanted biomaterials, and thus achieve integrated function of medical devices and tissue engineered constructs.
- Professor Wendy Liu, UC Irvine
Liu Lab, October 2012