Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Development of Biomaterial Scaffolds for the Induction of Human Adipose Tissue"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2016 - DURI
Research area(s):
Biomaterials, Cell/Tissue Engineering
Project Description:
Obesity and its related diseases are increasing social problems worldwide. Current therapies have been shown poor therapeutic effectiveness as well as severe side effects. Our research focuses on the conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) into beige adipose tissue thereby combating obesity and its related diseases. The Browning effect is the transformation of white, which stores calories, to inducible beige adipose tissue (iBAT), which burns calories. We have demonstrated the feasibility of developing a bioengineered polymer-based system for controlled drug delivery of a Notch inhibitor to achieve inductive browning of adipocyte in mice. However, little attention has been paid to engineer ‘browning’ of human fat. This project aims to develop a biomaterial scaffold that will provide a suitable microenvironment to support human adipose cells and induce ‘browning’ of human fat. The biomaterial scaffold system will be prepared and characterized. The efficacy of this polymer-based system to induce browning will be evaluated
Expected Student Contributions:
Our research group welcomes highly motivated undergraduate students to learn and make contributions in translational biotechnology. The intern will closely work with postdoctoral fellows in our lab and assist in the synthesis, characterization, and optimization of biomaterial scaffolds to achieve appropriate combination of physico-chemical and biological properties. The student will also gain experience on biomaterial evaluation in vitro.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
GPA > 3.5. Highly motivated, responsible, and dedicated learner and researcher.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Deng, Meng
Agricultural and biological engineering

Student Supervisor

Liangju Kuang

Cooperating Faculty

Shihuan Kuang
Animal Sciences