FURI | Spring 2020

Bioengineered Space-Like Protein Crystals on Earth: Implications to Regenerative Medicine

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Regenerative medicine (RM) shows the possibility to regenerate 3D tissue and organs from cells given an appropriate extracellular microenvironment. A better understanding of the structure-function relationship between cell surface proteins, known as integrins, and the families of collagens, proteoglycans, and glycoproteins that make up the extracellular matrix (ECM) is crucial in developing RM. Crystallization of complex proteins is the limiting factor to their characterization by x-ray diffraction but recent studies show improved protein crystals grown in microgravity. The use of a ground-based, microgravity protein crystallization unit operation has application to RM on Earth and in space.

Student researcher

Amanda Tran

Amanda Marie Tran

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Arvada, Colorado, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021