BioE Seminar Series: Engineering Functional Adipose Tissue

Thursday, September 8, 2022

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Schiciano Auditorium- B

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Evangelia Bellas, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Temple University

Adipose tissue was once seen as a static, storage unit for energy, more recently, we have begun to appreciate this dynamic, complex tissue which regulates our metabolic homeostasis. Adipocytes, the primary cell type in adipose tissue, expand and shrink to accommodate energy (lipids) storage and release. This requires a dynamic matrix, which can be easily remodeled. In obese adipose tissue, adipocytes become hypertrophic as they store more lipids, and the vasculature does not increase to adapt to the growing tissue. This results in tissue hypoxia, leading to inflammation and fibrosis, and ultimately causing a vicious cycle of dysfunction. Our group develops adipose tissue disease models to mimic these dysfunctional states of hypoxia and fibrosis. We employ various bioengineering approaches to build these 3-dimensional engineered adipose tissue models, to study how fibrosis occurs, which pathways are implicated and how it leads to further dysfunction when the cell is physically constrained with pericellular collagen. We have also developed a vascularized adipose tissue model, demonstrating how vascularization is supported by healthy adipocytes and how direct contact between these cells regulates tissue function.


Michael Humphreys