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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Kassy successfully defends her PhD thesis on Assessing Chemokine Delivery Strategies for Neural Regenerative Medicine. Awesome job!


Stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α; also known as CXCL12) is a potent chemotactic molecule that works in conjunction with its receptors CXCR4 and CXCR7 to promote central nervous system repair following injury. SDF-1α has been shown to influence neural stem cell recruitment, angiogenesis, and inhibitory tone in the central nervous system. Exogenous delivery and manipulation of SDF-1α signal in the nervous system may allow for increased stem cell recruitment following traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological diseases. Current efforts to alter the presentation of SDF-1α in the nervous system are limited by lack of tunability of SDF-1α release, its inherent short half-life, and the use of materials that contribute to inflammation. Advances in hyaluronic acid (HA) functionalization and thiolene click chemistry allows for precise crosslinking and molecule functionalization of hydrogels. Here, we present an HA-based injectable, biomaterial microgel system that accommodates precise tuning and delivery of SDF-1α and SDF-1α analogs.