Thursday, September 28 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA
Presenting on “Engineering mucus and innate lung defense”
Gregg A. Duncan, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, will speak on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 10:00 am CST in Whitaker 218.
Abstract: Mucus is a biological gel within the lung designed to behave like an “escalator” with the ability to capture potentially harmful inhaled materials (e.g. pathogens, particulates) and carry these materials via mucociliary clearance up to the throat to be swallowed and sterilized. However due to the lack of appropriate models, it is unclear how the physical and biochemical properties of mucus collectively dictate its function. Recently, we have engineered a mucin-based biomaterial with native-like viscoelasticity, here termed ‘synthetic mucus’. I will discuss how we have used synthetic mucus biomaterials to understand how the biochemical and biophysical features of airway mucus impact its function in health and dysfunction in diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. In addition, I will discuss a genetically engineered human airway tissue culture model developed in our lab to study how mucus transport is dynamically controlled based on mucin glycoprotein composition. These bioengineered models provide key insights on mucus barrier function that improve our understanding of innate lung defense in health and disease.
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