I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the different projects everyone was working on this summer, and was pleasantly surprised to see a large variety in the topics. One such presentation that interested me was Ben’s talk about cell migration. He explained how cells can use force on actin filaments to communicate to each other, effectively causing the cells to move together. Specifically, he is looking into how vinculin can play a part in cell migration, and if it can be used to control cell movement in the future. This topic specifically fascinates me due to its similarity with my project, in which both of us look at unique characteristics in certain materials and try to optimize them for medical purposes.
Ben explained that cell migration could potentially be used for wound healing and tissue regeneration, which is actually similar to applications of ELP’s. ELP’s can also be used in damaged joints or tissue and become a solidified deposit to protect certain areas. It was exciting to learn of other possibilities in tissue engineering that share a lot of similarities with my work! Ben’s engaging and detailed talk makes me look forward to the future work his lab and others will do in the field of tissue engineering and biomaterials, as well as other possible solutions that will arise as research continues.