Carrow, James Kenning (2018-08). Engineering Stem Cell Responses with Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials are an emerging class of biomaterials that have garnered unprecedented attention due to their unique atomically thin, layered, and well-defined structure. These nanomaterials, however, have limited investigations into their cytocompatibility and potential use in regenerative medicine particularly from the perspective of 3D scaffolds. Here we report two chemically unique 2D nanomaterials and their biophysical and biochemical interactions with stem cells. The first is a naturally occurring nanosilicate which is made up of a unique combination of minerals (Na^+, L^i+, Mg^2+, Si(OH)v4) within an octahedral sheet sandwiched between two tetrahedral lattices (Laponite XLG(R)). The second is a transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) of molybdenum disulfide (MoSv2) which forms 2D sheets nanometers in thickness. Using molecular biology techniques that capture a holistic snapshot of cell signaling, like RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq), we can begin to examine mechanisms behind changes in behavior. With this information, we can then interrogate specific pathways of interest to generate a desired cell response. Furthermore, we can incorporate these nanomaterials into polymeric scaffolds to localize both cells and bioactive materials for delivery in vivo. Specifically, we utilized formulations of the polysaccharide kappa-Carrageenan with the nanosilicates and a thiol-modified 4-arm polyethylene glycol (PEG) with 2D MoSv2. Using these studies as a framework, researchers can begin to tailor new polymeric scaffolds around emergent 2D nanomaterials for a variety of regenerative applications including bioprinting.

publication date

  • August 2018