Quinton Smith, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Irvine, will discuss his lab’s focus on bridging the gap between fundamental stem cell biology and the clinical application of stem cell derivatives. Miniaturization technologies from the electronics industry enable engineers to build models of human physiology. In particular, these technologies permit controlling interactions between individual cells and their physical microenvironment and spatial information like gradients in chemical signals.
Coupling these powerful tools with stem cell and organoid technology allows the precise re-creation of a tissue’s natural environment in the body. Smith’s lab is leveraging these organ-on-chip model systems to uncover new biology related to human development and study how organs maintain homeostasis, become diseased and regenerate.