Characterization of biopolymeric scaffolds interaction with cells
Infection and immune response are two of the most devastating complications of any implantation, intrinsically originating in tissue-material incompatibility. Subsequently, a lot of effort has been put in developing biocompatible implants or artificial tissues based on cell cultures grown on various polymeric scaffolds. Research has been primarily focused on cell survival, cell division and cell proliferation. However, due to the lack of understanding of the cell-material interaction mechanisms at the molecular level, development of novel scaffold materials is based mainly on trial-and-error approach. To provide an innovative breakthrough in the scaffold-material development, cell-material interactions will be investigated at the molecular level, micrometer level of polymeric sheets and cell supramolecular structures as well as millimeter level of scaffolds pores and walls. Therefore, the project will focus on the exploration of the dynamics of scaffold rearrangements and cell structure changes via spectroscopic, microscopic and microspectroscopic techniques. State-of-the-art methods like confocal fluorescence microspectroscopy in combination of micromanipulation by laser tweezers, which are needed for the characterization of scaffolds-cell interactions, will be transferred and established in Croatia. Such a transfer of knowledge to Croatia brings new opportunities, establish long term collaborations, and enable Croatian scientists to integrate in European Research Area.