© 2018 by A. Putnam and the CSET Lab. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the CSET Lab at the University of Michigan!

The Laboratory of Cell Signaling in Engineered Tissues (CSET) was established in 2003 under the direction of Professor Andy Putnam. Residing in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan since 2009, our laboratory conducts both fundamental and applied research in the broad areas of cell and tissue engineering. Our fundamental biological research addresses how the mechano-chemical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence both normal and pathologic tissue morphogenesis, with a particular emphasis on identifying the signal transduction mechanisms that drive these processes in 3D. Our engineering efforts then seek to leverage this fundamental knowledge to inspire the design of “instructive materials” for applications in regenerative medicine and as model systems in which to study disease.

Recent Lab News

New paper accepted in JBMR-B

January 26, 2019

​Congratulations to Jeff and Ben on the acceptance of their paper entitled "Deciphering the relative roles of matrix metalloproteinase and plasmin-mediated matrix degradation during capillary morphogenesis using engineered hydrogels" in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials.  This was a large CSET Lab effort, with co-authors David Cleveland, Megan Busch, and Likitha Nimmagadda also contributing. 

New paper accepted in Biotechnology and Bioengineering

November 7, 2018

​Congratulations to Jonathan on the acceptance of his paper entitled "Assessing the ability of human endothelial cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to form functional microvasculature in vivo" in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering.  Following his first paper earlier this year, Jonathan compared the potential of iPSC-derived ECs to HUVECs to form functional microvasculature in vivo. Thanks (and congratulations) to lab colleagues Ben Juliar, Nicole Friend, and former student Ana Rioja for their contributions to this paper.

Welcome, Emily!

November 2, 2018

Emily Margolis officially joins the group as a PhD student.  She received her B.S. degree from Boston University, and has some highly relevant prior research experience!  

New paper accepted in Biomaterials

July 23, 2018

Congratulations to Yen on the acceptance of his paper entitled "A Systems Mechanobiology Model to Predict Cardiac Reprogramming Outcomes on Different Biomaterials" in the journal Biomaterials.  In this paper, Yen utilized principle component analyses (PCA) to identify short-term cell responses to different biomaterial properties that accurately predict long-term cardiac reprogramming outcomes, with the goal of more judiciously selecting biomaterials that support reprogramming with higher efficiencies.  Thanks (and congratulations) to former student Ana Rioja and our collaborators in Professor Jianping Fu's lab.

Congratulations, Dr. Bezenah!

July 17, 2018

​Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Bezenah, who successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on July 17th.  Jonathan's dissertation was entitled "Evaluating an Alternative Endothelial Cell Source to Vascularize Engineered Tissue Constructs".  He will be with us a bit longer as a post-doctoral fellow, wrapping up his final paper(s) and looking for a job in industry.  Congratulations, Jonathan!

SFB 2018

April 11, 2018

Ben Juliar and Yen Kong will present some of our lab's work today at the annual meeting of the Society for Biomaterials in Atlanta.

Two new papers accepted

February 3, 2018

Congratulations to Jonathan and Ben on the acceptance of their papers in Scientific Reports and Biomaterials, respectively.  Jonathan's paper documents some deficiencies in vascular morphogenesis of iPSC-derived ECs compared to HUVECs, and a potential mechanism that may explain the differences.  Ben's paper is a collaboration with Elliot Botvinick's lab at UC Irvine, and describes changes in ECM mechanical properties during capillary morphogenesis using both bulk rheology and microrheology.

Congratulations, Ben!

January 26, 2018

Ben successfully passed his qualifying exam today and is now a doctoral candidate!  Way to go, Ben.

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Research Highlights

Help for a Scarred Heart

Poets and physicians alike know that a scarred heart can’t beat the way it used to, but the science of reprogramming cells offers hope – for the physical heart, at least. A team of U-M biomedical engineers has turned groups of cells typically found in scar tissue into colonies of beating heart cells. (Read story by the UM News Service.)

(see Kong, et al., Scientific Reports, 2013)

Engineering functional microvasculature (see Grainger, et al., Tissue Engineering: Part A, 2013)

The CSET Lab gratefully acknowledges funding from federal and state government agencies, private foundations, the University of Michigan, and philanthropy.  Thank you for supporting our research in regenerative medicine.

Robert C. Leland, Jr. and Donna D. Leland Professorship in Biomedical Engineering and Cardiovascular Medicine