DNA based hydrogels

DNA polymeric hybrid reversible hydrogels for stem cell expansion

This project aims to design, synthesize, characterise and test DNA-based hydrogels for stem cell expansion.

Thousands of people suffer each year from organ failure. In order to improve their quality of life, organ transplantation is required to restore lost function. Unfortunately, the organ transplantation waiting list is growing every single year. As a consequence, patients are forced to wait several years until an organ with the right match is being appointed. Stem cells can be used to grow mini-organs in a dish, and so have a high potential for the future in this area. Though, culture environments are still far from ideal. Therefore, there is an increasing need for an artificial 3D biomaterial that is able to support the growth of these mini-organs. By taking advantage of the versatile properties of DNA, DNA-based polymers are fabricated and studied on their mechanical properties, and their ability to support stem cell expansion.