IRG2: Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Networks (2017-2023)

IRG Leaders: Paul A. Janmey & Vivek B. Shenoy

Senior Investigators: Danielle S. Bassett, Jason A. Burdick, David M. Chenoweth, Dennis E. Discher, Ekaterina L. Grishchuk, Tom C. Lubensky, Elizabeth Rhoades

Collaborators: Rebecca G. Wells, Shu Yang

IRG2, Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Materials aims to develop a new field of network chemo-mechanics by understanding and harnessing the structural, chemical, and mechanical complexity inherent in fibrous networks. Fibrous networks are ubiquitous in biology but are underexplored in materials science. The team will create and characterize new fibrous materials with structural chemo-mechanical properties, and it will develop theory and models to enhance understanding of them. Specifically, we aim to synthesize materials in which spatially localized chemical reactions are controlled through management of local fibrous network structure. This local chemical control can occur by focusing applied macroscopic stress to targeted regions in the material; this phenomena enables us to concentrate or align chemical species with specific reactant and catalyst sites, and thereby alter their reaction kinetics. The group will thus lay foundations for materials with stress-reinforcing and self-renewal capabilities and materials with an expanded range of non-linear elastic responses to large multiaxial strains. The new concepts are useful for advanced fibers, adhesives, elastomers, textiles, and scaffolds for tissue repair and regeneration.

Highlights for IRG2

Fabricating Granular Hydrogels for 3D Printing
Paulo Arratia, University of Pennsylvania / Jason Burdick, University of Colorado
Vimentin filaments protect cell nuclei from mechanical damage
Ekaterina Grishchuk and Paul Janmey, University of Pennsylvania
Influence of Particle Shape on Hydrogel Properties
Jason Burdick and Daeyeon Lee
Glycosaminoglycans and Long-Range Mechanical Communication in Collagen Networks
X. Chen, D. Chen, E. Ban, P.A. Janmey, R.G. Wells and V.B. Shenoy
Effects of Extracellular Matrix Viscoelasticity on Cellular Behavior
Paul Janmey, Vivek Shenoy, University of Pennsylvania
Fibrous Networks in Liver Fibrosis
Rebecca Wells, Jason Burdick, Vivek Shenoy, University of Pennsylvania
Mechanochemical Adhesion and Plasticity in Multifiber Hydrogel Networks
Matthew Davidson, Ehsan Ban, Vivek Shenoy, Jason Burdick, University of Pennsylvania
Emergence of Tissue-like Mechanics from Fibrous Networks Confined by Close-packed Cells
Anne van Oosten, Xingyu Chen, Vivek Shenoy, Paul Janmey, University of Pennsylvania
Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Networks
Ehsan Ban, Paul Janmey, Vivek Shenoy, University of Pennsylvania