UNH Manchester Students Tour University Instrumentation Center
Four undergraduate research trainees in the NH BioMade summer internship program in Dr. Won Hyuk Suh’s lab made the trip from UNH Manchester to visit the University Instrumentation Center at the UNH Durham campus. The 2023 summer Suh Lab projects involve researching the use of bioprinted and crosslinked protein-based hydrogels to engineer human neural stem cells. Darrell Caudill, Trixie Vazquez, Trinity Minard and Monique Gingras learned to use the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with guidance from graduate student Jacob Brown.
First, the lyophilized biomaterial samples had to be sputter coated with gold prior to conducting the SEM analysis, which provides 3D structure profiles going down to the tens of nanometer range. Next, students zoomed in on the biomaterial samples after they were loaded onto the microscope. SEM is a destructive technique, but the size and morphology information researchers are able to acquire are invaluable, especially when your research involves tuning the microenvironment of the extracellular matrix of stem cells. A long-term goal of Dr. Suh’s lab is to develop enabling technologies and platforms where the bioprinted neural stem cell-based organoids can be utilized to profile therapeutic molecules developed for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
NH BioMade is an NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 project (#1757371).
Written by Won Hyuk Suh, UNH-M & Jennifer Baker, NH EPSCoR
Photos: Jennifer Baker, NH EPSCoR