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Graduate Student Seminar Series – Kyle Lam

March 14 @ 12:40 pm - 12:55 pm EDT

Graduate Student Seminar Series
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Location: WB116
Presentation Title: Mechanical Control of Exosome Formation by Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are used in cell therapies, for instance to repair severely
burned skin that is subject to severe ‘hypertrophic’ scarring. To obtain the billions of MSC
required for therapies small biopsy material is typically expanded on stiff surfaces, like plastic
culture dishes or beads in bioreactor. The stiff culture material mechanically activates MSCs into
scar-promoting cells that lose their regenerative potential. My host lab developed culture
substrates with the softness of skin that prevents the scar-inducing properties. MSC harvested
from such ‘soft cultures’ and transplanted to wounded rat skin promoted scarless healing while
their counterparts from conventionally stiff surfaces caused scars. Because the transplanted MSC
disappear much earlier from the recipient tissue (1-4 days) than scarring takes place (9-12 days),
we hypothesize that soft-cultured MSC produce soluble factors that instruct the host wound cells
to make ‘better’ wound tissue.
It is the aim of my project to characterize the so-called extracellular vesicles, specifically
exosomes, that are secreted by MSC cultured on soft substrates compared to those produced by
stiff-cultured MSC. We will use these exosomes from differently stiff environments to treat
fibroblasts and quantify the MSC activation, which promotes scarring. Lastly, we aim to
elucidate the mechanism of how the mechanical environment affects exosome production. We
propose that these secreted factors can be isolated and used in controlled applications to treat
wounds that are at risk to turn into severe scars.
Supervisor Name: Boris Hinz
Year of Study: 2
Program of Study: MASc
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March 14
12:40 pm - 12:55 pm EDT
Event Category: