Where Ideas grow

Microenvironments for New Therapies

The MiNT Group bioengineers microenvironments to promote tissue repair/regeneration through modulation of the host response. Pivotal in this strategy is the concept that biomaterials can be engineered to drive inflammation towards either pro- or anti-inflammatory microenvironments. This rational has been consistently adopted by us, with a particular emphasis in spine diseases, namely those affecting bone and the intervertebral disc. This translational oriented research is founded on more fundamental and well-established contributions of the group to the understanding and modulation of cell-biomaterial interactions, namely on how biomaterials chemistry can be designed to prevent/promote cell adhesion and guide cell behavior, including inflammatory cells. MiNT is aligned with the strategic objectives of Host Interaction and Response (HIR) and Cancer Programs. In the i3S scientific matrix our contributions fall primarily in the field of bioengineering, in which the concept of immunomodulatory microenvironments has been extensively explored. In this respect, MiNT has established a bridge between inflammation and bioengineering.

 

Morphology of macrophages differentiated on surfaces can be observed by staining for F-actin filaments (red) and nuclei (green).