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The Engineered Microenvironments and Mechanobiology Lab resides within the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan and is led by Dr. Brendon Baker.  We study how structure and mechanics of the cellular microenvironment guide fundamental cell processes such as migration, proliferation, and extracellular matrix synthesis.  To do so, we develop synthetic biomaterials that mimic the 3D and fibrous nature of stromal or interstitial tissues.  Combined with molecular tools, live imaging, microfabrication/fluidic techniques, and multi-scale mechanical characterization, these materials allow us to model, study, and control the interactions between cells and their surroundings.  UItimately, we aim to 1) shed insight into extracellular matrix-mediated diseases such as cancer and fibrosis and 2) use material cues to direct cell function for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

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