Kasie Collins

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Kasie earned a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Chemistry from Eastern Carolina University in 2012. She is currently being co-advised by Dr. Brent Hoffman and Dr. Jennifer West.

Contact Information:

  • Email Address: kasie.collins@duke.edu

Research Interests:

Creation of a novel force-sensing biomaterial for improved traction force studies and high throughput mechanical screening

This research project is designing and creating a PEG-based biomaterial, with conjugated tension sensor pendant moieties, to enable improved study and analysis of cell contractility in vitro. Genetically-encoded extracellular FRET-based stain gauges with a terminal cell adhesion ligand, will be conjugated to a PEG polymer backbone through a Michael-type addition. Upon inclusion of PEG-diacrylate monomers and an appropriate photoinititator, hydrogels will be formed via a free radical photopolymerization mechanism. Cell generated forces will initially be visualized and quantified in plated 2D systems. However, upon optimization, the contractility of encapsulated cells will be evaluated in 3D systems.

AWARDS/HONORS/FELLOW SHIPS:

Nanoscience Fellowship

CBTE Service Award, Kewaunee Lecture, April 2015

CBTE Fellowship 2015