Collaborate 2 Cure
October 13, 2016

Biomaterials for Cell Delivery in Animal Models


Appropriate biomaterials are critical to the successful in vivo delivery of cells for a variety of applications.  The primary research focus of our laboratory is the use of decellularized heart valve scaffolds for heart valve tissue engineering.  We have well developed methodologies for the decellularization of heart valves and other tissues.  In the context of evaluating chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies, our laboratory has collaborated with area researchers on the development of a hydrogel system for the delivery of cells into immunocompetent animal models.  The thermoresponsive hydrogel is based on a chitosan platform that is supplemented with the additional bioactive agents, including decellularized Wharton’s Jelly from the umbilical cord.  The system offers fast gelation, while maintaining cell viability.  Following initial in vitro evaluation of specific cell lines, the performance of the delivery system will be evaluated in mice and fetal pigs.

Speaker: Gabriel Converse, PhD

Dr. Gabriel Converse received his PhD in 2008 from the University of Notre Dame.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Ward Family Heart Center at Children’s Mercy – Kansas City.  His research interests are in biomaterials, biomechanics and tissue engineering.  Dr. Converse’s primary focus is in the development of tissue-based heart valves for the treatment of congenital heart disorders.

Hyperthermia: More Than an Adjuvant to Cancer Therapies


The physiological effects of hyperthermia on cancer tissue and the entire host are a complex function of the time-temperature relationship during heating, as well as the final temperature and duration of treatment. A considerable challenge to the reliable delivery of thermal therapies is that substantial intra- and inter-subject variations in tissue biophysical properties and blood perfusion profiles exist. The team at Kansas State has succeeded in integrating hyperthermia delivery instrumentation with ultra- high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This unique instrumentation enables real-time monitoring of spatio-temporal profiles, thereby providing a means for the concurrent adjustment of instrument parameters during therapy to ensure delivery of an optimal thermal dose. Ultra-high field MRI is particularly attractive as its high spatial and temporal resolution enables us to do simultaneous imaging of blood perfusion, oxygenation, and other physiological parameters, in addition to thermometry, during hyperthermia exposure. The hyperthermia experiments are complemented by the development of analytical methods for the cytokines/chemokines (e.g. interleukines, Chemokine (C-C motif) ligands), which are responsible for defensive cell migrations into the tumors.

Speaker: Stefan Bossmann, PhD

Based on his research on iron-containing nanoparticles, his laboratory has developed diagnostic assays for proteases, kinases and other posttranslational enzymes, and cytokines/chemokines. They have applied this technology to in-vitro analyses measuring enzymatic activities and cytokine/chemokine concentrations in biospecimens, such as serum, urine, and breath condensate. We have also developed in-vivo applications targeting lymphocytes in peripheral blood and for the purpose of detecting primary tumors and metastases, with special emphasis of imaging the boundary between tumors and presumably healthy tissue. 

Dr. Bossman is a member of the NCI-designated University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) and holds the honorary title of Distinguished Professor of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China.


Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
Brookside Room
4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110

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