Schmidt Lab Receives New NIH Grant

A new NIH grant, entitled “Engineering Tissue Mimics to Investigate Congenital Heart Disease” (R21 HD090608), is focused on a continued collaborative project with Dr. Hideko Kasahara (Physiology, College of Medicine), which was initially funded by a University of Florida Opportunity Award. This proposal seeks to investigate the underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular malformation resulting in cardiac defects. We will create benchtop hydrogel mimics to study the impact of genetic and environmental factors on development of cardiovascular malformations. The technology developed in these mimics may ultimately be translated into an injectable biomaterial to treat cardiac anomalies in humans. Development of 3D cardiac tissue mimics has the potential to elucidate both pathological mechanisms of disease and the biophysical properties that result in physiologic cellular development for engineering cardiac tissues. Information obtained in this project will identify potential ECM targets for genetic therapy, and future studies will utilize our cardiac tissue mimics as a base for development of an injectable biomaterial to treat cardiac anomalies in humans.

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