Addressing complex physiological problems at the interface of engineering and medicine
The Gleghorn Lab is an interdisciplinary research group that is focused on understanding how cells assemble into functional tissues. We develop and use microfluidic and microfabrication technologies to determine how cells behave and communicate within multicellular populations to form complex 3D tissues and organs. In particular, we use developing organs, microfabricated 3D organotypic culture models, quantitative analysis, and computational methods to investigate the biophysical forces and chemical signals that drive tissue growth, homeostasis, and disease. Our work integrates fundamental engineering, molecular, cell, and developmental biology, and materials science to delineate cellular behaviors and interactions at the cellular, tissue, and organ length scales. The long-term goals of this research are to develop techniques to engineer physiologically relevant 3D culture systems with well-defined structure, flows, and cell-cell interactions to study tissue-scale biology and disease. These techniques in combination with what we learn in our studies of the native cellular behaviors and interactions in the embryo will be used to define new therapeutic approaches for regenerative medicine.