Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Julie C. Liu

Committee Member 1

Chongli Yuan

Committee Member 2

Doraiswami Ramkrishna

Committee Member 3

Alyssa Panitch


Tissue damage caused by diseases and injuries requires regeneration to recover proper tissue function. Traditional treatments using autologous tissue have not yet met the need for tissue regeneration. Tissue engineering has emerged as an alternative strategy for tissue regeneration. It utilizes biomaterials that mimic native cellular microenvironments and provide environmental cues to induce specific cell responses, including differentiation. Biochemical and biophysical cues modulate cell behavior and direct construction of specific types of tissue. Thus, this work describes production and characterization of protein-engineered microenvironments that provide biochemical and biophysical cues to modulate stem cell differentiation.