Enter the Matrix: Self-Renewal of Lung Progenitors in Defined Hydrogels

Human pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolospheres.

Seeking highly enthusiastic and motivated students to identify synthetic biomaterials for the in vitro expansion of functional lung progenitors.

Project description

  • Lung epithelial progenitors are important cell types in vivo and in the development of cell-based therapies as they can differentiate to mature, functional cells

  • Currently, culture of such progenitors entails the use of poorly-defined, mouse tumor-derived matrices, such as Matrigel

  • We are seeking highly motivated students that will systematically screen commercially available, synthetic hydrogels to replace mouse-tumor derived matrices

  • Students will use a variety of techniques such as 3D cell culture, immunostaining, real-time RT-qPCR, hydrogel preparation, confocal and epifluorescence microscopy

Project outcome

  •  Receive rigorous training in a variety of wet-lab techniques
  • Present findings in poster form at University- or School-wide research events
  • Be a co-author in future manuscript(s) that include study findings

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment to be determined by student and mentor
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid? In-person
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Research experience
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

Laertis Ikonomou

Associate Professor;

Oral Biology

Phone: (716) 829-6206

Email: laertisi@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Reach out to the project mentor for articles, books, or chapters to read.
  • Read "A practical guide to hydrogels for cell culture"
  • Complete the 1.5 hour Lab Safety Training class offered by UB: https://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/forms-catalog/facilities/lab-safety-training-request.html