Prototype Project All Fields

Date: 2/15/21 - 2/26/21
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In Support of Child-Friendly Cities: Identifying and Applying Geospatial Technologies to Represent Children's Sense of Place

Date: 10/1/20
children smiling
Principal Researchers: Bryan Wee and Peter Anthamatten

Unit: Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences

Project Abstract:
In an era of rapid urbanization and COVID-19, designing child-friendly cities involves more than just providing places where children can play and go to school. A sense of place, or the cognitive, embodied and affective relationships between people and places, is equally critical if we are to support children as whole persons, particularly during this pandemic. Yet there is no systematic way to spatially represent these unique human experiences, which limits our ability to understand the diverse ways by which children inhabit cities. Geospatial technologies are able to illuminate some aspects of child-place relationships, but they tend to stumble in their attempts to capture the ‘messiness’ of feelings.

To address this, we will a) identify innovative approaches and technologies to meaningfully visualize children’s sense of place, and b) implement a small-scale pilot study to assess the feasibility of these technologies, particularly for children living in urban areas and who are constrained by social distancing. Using innovative geospatial technologies in this manner promotes the meaningful integration of quantitative and qualitative data to support children as whole persons in the design of child-friendly cities. It also reveals the unseen but important places in children’s everyday lives, especially those that may not conform to structured activities and/or adult-designated ‘child-friendly’ areas. In doing so, we are better able to advocate for children’s well-being in urban spaces. 

Bryan Wee Bio:
Bryan Wee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences. His scholarship focuses on the use of visual narratives (e.g. drawings, photography, digital stories) to understand children’s sense of place in the context of their childhood/s. Bryan’s work is interdisciplinary, creative and collaborative in nature. He has published (often with students) in diverse formats and venues. His research projects have investigated cross-cultural views of the environment, discourses of childhood, place-making in cities and increasingly, visualizations of emotions in human-environment interactions. The courses he teaches at CU Denver emphasize critical thinking and empathy. Bryan has successfully taught ten new courses in two colleges, and he has participated in numerous equity initiatives/grants. He continues to advocate for children as not only marginalized individuals but as a forgotten demographic (by virtue of its assumed ubiquity) in adult-centric societies. 

Peter Anthamatten Bio:
Peter arrived at CU Denver in the department of Geography and Environmental Sciences (GES) in 2008 and currently serves as the department chair of GES. The focus of his research and teaching work is in medical geography, the study of how physical and built environments impact human health, and geospatial science. 

Peter was attracted to geography's breadth of approach and topic and has sought to take advantage of its holism throughout his career by working with a range of topics. The primary focus of his work is around the geography of health, which is the study how places and spaces (locations) affect human health. Peter began his career by exploring patterns of malnutrition in poor regions, while most of his work since arriving in Denver in 2008 has centered around the links between the built environment and children's physical activity behavior. A secondary focus of his work is on geographic education, specifically on teaching spatial thinking skills to elementary-aged children, exploring projects that explore children’s spatial thinking skills, such as National Geographic Society’s giant maps. Peter has particularly enjoyed thinking about ways to apply geospatial sciences (GIS, cartography, and spatial analysis) to research.

Peter’s primary teaching responsibilities include cartography, spatial statistics, geographic information science, and health geography.

Five Points to Five Notes

Date: 10/1/20
woman on stage giving high fives to audience
Principal Researchers: Kristin Wood and Laurie Baefsky

Unit: College of Engineering, Design and Computing and Comcast Center

Project Abstract:
The Five Points to Five Notes project, as a comprehensive effort, is a community co-created creative work consisting of a large-scale public art installation involving a commissioned granite and bronze sculpture by Denver artist (and CU Denver graduate) Walter Ware III; a mural installation by another Denver artist; and a digital artist walk spanning the entire River North (RiNo) Art district, which will take the form of a multimedia augmented reality (AR) app for viewers to explore content related to place and history. This broader project is intended to honor Denver’s African American cultural heritage in the River North neighborhoods. The physical art will focus on the jazz history of the Five Points neighborhood.  The digital artist walk will present a broader look at the African America history and cultural heritage of the region and will represent the many locations valued by the residents of the area, beyond sites that are just widely known. The particular focus of this Presidential Seed Grant is to develop the foundational elements of the digital artistic walk. The objectives of this portion of the project are to 1) create lasting art to enhance the area, 2) engage the community in meaningful reflection of and to lift up their heritage and cultural history of place, and 3) educate CU Denver students in a variety of skills, including understanding creative placemaking and the process of community empowerment through arts engagement. The project will be implemented with significant assistance from our primary community partners; City and County of Denver, RiNo Art District, Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, and History Colorado. 

Kristin Wood Bio:
Dr. Wood, a global leader in Design Innovation, is the Senior Associate Dean of Innovation and Engagement for the College of Engineering, Design and Computing and Inworks Director. He leads the college’s strategy to impact the Denver urban corridor and Colorado through strategic partnerships with the public and private sector that span education, research, and professional development. Dr. Wood has published more than 550 refereed articles and books, has received more than 100 national and international awards in design, and consulted with more than 100 companies and government organizations on Design Innovation and Design Thinking. Dr. Wood has also led and mentored 25 start-up companies, and is currently an ASME Fellow. 

Laurie Baefsky Bio:
Dr. Baefsky has built and directed arts programs within academic, non-profit, and government sectors for close to 20 years. She is the Associate Dean of Research & Strategic Partnerships for the College of Arts & Media. Dr. Baefsky supports and develops faculty and student research expertise, impact and success that cuts across fields, and is committed to the critical role of arts and design in creating healthy, resilient communities, and is dedicated to elevating arts and culture as a core sector in an equitable society. Trained as a classical flutist and music educator, Dr. Baefsky holds degrees in flute performance from Stony Brook University, University of Michigan, and California State University, Fullerton. She has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Utah Symphony, was a 15-year member of the Virginia Symphony, and founding fellow with the New World Symphony.

Learning from the Travel Experiences of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)

Date: 10/1/20
person in wheelchair
Principal Researchers: Manish Shirgaokar

Unit: Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Project Abstract:
This project investigates the travel behavior of persons with disabilities (PWDs) focusing especially on barriers that they experience in the Denver region. Researchers know a great deal about mobility and safety of the broader population. However, the micro-geography of travel of PWDs, who travel largely on infrastructure that is designed for those without disabilities, is not well understood. Using a smartphone app, our primary objective is to map, at a fine grain, the travel patterns of volunteer PWDs and compare these trips with those of non-PWDs. Our community partner is the Denver Regional Mobility & Access Council (DRMAC). We aim to learn from DRMAC as subject matter experts and work with them to disseminate our findings for identifying gaps and adjusting infrastructure standards in the Denver region and the Front Range communities. Specifically, we aim to reassess standards for sidewalks and transit with a focus on curb cuts, transit stops, street furniture, and parking for micro-mobility devices such as e-scooters. We also designed this project as a proof-of-concept to test within the Denver region and will seek funding for scaling up to other cities with more diverse populations (including older adults over 64 years), topography, and weather.

Manish Shirgaokar Bio:
Manish is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the College of Architecture and Planning. His research and teaching are centered on transportation and social equity. He teaches seminar and lab-based courses in transportation planning/policy, data analytics, and geographic information systems at the University of Colorado Denver. As a scholar, Manish focuses on how transportation systems help or hinder the mobility of disadvantaged groups such as older adults, women, immigrants, and low-income households. He works on topics in the United States, India, and Canada.

He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) of the American Planning Association (APA) since 2014. Before joining academia Manish worked as a private sector consultant in India (2005-07; 1997-99) and at the Institute of Transportation Studies, Berkeley, CA (2003-05).Prior to starting the position at CU Denver, he was an assistant professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Over the 4.5 years I spent in Canada, Manish taught and supervised research students in Planning, Geography, and Transportation Engineering in classroom/seminar, studio, and lab-based settings. He is the 2017 recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award of the Regional Development and Planning Speciality Group of the American Association of Geographers.

Establishing a Mechanistic Understanding of How Microbial Communities Remediate Groundwater Pollution at an EPA Superfund Site in the Denver Metropolitan Area

Date: 10/1/20
aerial shot of landfill
Principal Researchers: Chris Miller and Timberley Roane

Unit: Department of Integrative Biology

Project Abstract:
Rapid growth in the Denver metropolitan area has brought increasing population density adjacent to once remote municipal and industrial waste sites. This physical intersection of development and contaminated landfills has implications for drinking water quality, air quality, and other public health concerns. One such contaminated site is the former Lowry Landfill in Aurora, CO, a US Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site owned by the City and County of Denver. This site has long been recognized as a source of toxic 1,4-dioxane groundwater contamination. Since 2003, an above-ground bioreactor enabled by naturally present microbes has served as a nationally-recognized local success story in bioremediation. However, a surprising lack of understanding about the basic microbiology responsible for this bioremediation process has meant that this success has failed to replicate at other similar sites, and that changing groundwater contaminant profiles pose a risk to future operational success of the plant. 

The objective of this interdisciplinary research is to provide a genome-resolved mechanistic understanding of the biochemical metabolisms and microbial community ecosystem interactions that are responsible for 1,4-dioxane remediation at the Lowry Landfill bioremediation plant. Student researchers will use high-throughput DNA sequencing and computational biology to investigate the microbial mechanisms underlying successful bioremediation. Our overarching goal is that the new knowledge generated from this project will be applied immediately to improved management of the Lowry Landfill site, and in the future to improved management of similar sites with 1,4-dioxane contamination around the state and country.

Chris Miller Bio:
Chris Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver.  His lab develops and applies bioinformatic and genome-enabled approaches to study microbial communities.  Recent publications from students in the Miller lab have applied high-throughput DNA sequencing and computational approaches to study the role of freshwater wetland soil microbes in cycling of the greenhouse gas methane, to study the evolution and diversity of the archaeal domain of life, and to investigate the role of environmental pollutants on the gut microbiome of animal hosts.  Dr. Miller’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, and private foundations.  At CU Denver, Dr. Miller regularly teaches courses in Genomics and Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, and General Biology.  Dr. Miller received his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of California Los Angeles, and did Postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley before joining CU Denver in 2012.

Timberley Roane Bio:
Dr. Timberley Roane received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1999.  Dr. Roane is currently an Associate Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver.  Her research interests are in the discovery and elucidation of innovative microbial applications such as in ecosystem restoration, chemical mitigation, and energy production.  In collaboration with a variety of scientific, regulatory, and community organizations, her research has been sponsored by federal research agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.  Regularly publishing and presenting their research, Dr. Roane’s program combines conventional and advanced molecular and biochemical approaches to the study of microorganisms, and involves students from diverse backgrounds, educational levels, and scientific interests.  Dr. Roane is currently a director of the Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands certificate program and is the faculty sponsor of the CU Denver American Indian Science and Engineering Society student organization.

Integrated Solar Energy for Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities

Date: 10/1/20
solar panels in front of skyline
Principal Researchers: Serena Kim

Unit: School of Public Affairs

Project Abstract:
Accessing clean, reliable, and affordable energy is integral to sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities. While some areas in Colorado have taken advantage of solar rebates and financial incentives and have incorporated solar energy into their energy portfolio, other areas have lagged behind in their energy transition. The gap between leading and laggard areas raises important equity concerns as cities and neighborhoods with greater capacity will disproportionately benefit from renewable energy development. In order to ensure fair and equitable access to renewable energy technologies, we need a more comprehensive understanding of the determinants of renewable energy deployment, including community demographics, local policy, and energy market conditions. We focus on four activities to understand geographical disparities in solar photovoltaic deployment.

First, we will build a machine learning algorithm to obtain an accurate estimation of solar photovoltaic density in Colorado using satellite imagery. Second, we will build a solar-specific natural language processing model and measure public opinion toward solar energy using data from Twitter. Third, we will examine whether the geographical disparities in solar deployment correlate to public sentiment at the city level and the place-based factors, such as demographics, public policy, and energy market conditions. Fourth, based on the results of this examination, we will identify four case study cities in Colorado and conduct in-depth interviews with community stakeholders, to understand community-specific opportunities and challenges for solar photovoltaic deployment. This project will provide a robust list of energy transition and planning strategies for allowing marginalized communities to benefit more from renewable energy development. 

Serena Kim Bio:
Serena Kim is a Scholar in Residence in the School of Public Affairs. She studies how public opinion, energy market, public policy, and institutional arrangements shape renewable energy transition. Her work has appeared in Energy Policy, Policy Studies Journal, Policy & Politics, Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, Urban Planning, and Journal of Environment & Development. 

CAMunity: A Student-Led Pilot Project to Provide Local Musicians with the Opportunity to Learn and Thrive as Leaders within Their Community

Date: 10/1/20
man performing on stage at concert
Principal Researchers: Storm Gloor

Unit: Department of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies

Project Abstract:
The primary goal of the CAMunity pilot project is to advance urban creative work and provide a music business and arts leadership training program for Denver musicians who might not have the means to such professional development. The program will enhance their knowledge of the business of music while providing training in leadership, advocacy, and networking in order to support their growth not only as professional musicians but as leaders and agents of change within their community. A secondary goal is to provide CU Denver students with a unique research earning project that will benefit their local community. CU Denver students and the principal investigator will develop a ten-week music business and leadership program as the core deliverable of this project. Area musicians will be invited to apply to participate, free of charge, in a cohort that will engage in various topic-oriented sessions led by CU Denver students, CAM faculty, and various music community leaders and partners. If the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and/or applicable health and safety mandates are still in place one month prior the beginning of the program, sessions will be held virtually until further notice.

The research will be intended to investigate the viability of this type of program within a community and determine the cultural, social, and economic impact it may have on the creative industries sector. The research component of the CAMunity project would include nts. It would begin in mid-September, 2020, and conclude in April of 2021.

Understanding and Leveraging Philanthropic Foundations in Colorado's Urban Areas

Date: 10/1/20
aerial photo of downtown skyline
Principal Researchers: Todd Ely

Unit: School of Public Affairs

Project Abstract:
Government alone cannot address the challenges experienced by urban populations. Recognizing that government funding still overshadows philanthropic resources, foundations play an especially vital role in providing investments and risk capital in urban initiatives nationally and in Colorado. Indeed, it is difficult to look around our urban spaces without seeing the direct influence of our philanthropic foundations evidenced most prominently by the names on our medical, cultural, and educational buildings. In 2016, Colorado foundations held roughly $12 billion in assets and granted $1 billion. Since then, foundation resources and activities in the state have only continued to grow. 
Foundations increasingly consider approaches to “leverage” their assets for greater social impact. The proposed project advances efforts to maximize foundations’ impact in Colorado’s urban centers by asking two related questions. First, what is the landscape of Colorado’s urban-serving philanthropic foundations? Second, how can these foundations leverage their assets beyond traditional grant making for greater social impact in Colorado’s urban areas?

To answer these questions, we use primary and secondary data collection to: 1) create a foundation resource map of the state with a focus on the Front Range population centers, 2) gather evidence of existing innovative practices to maximize social impact by Colorado’s urban foundations, and 3) establish roadmaps/guides to assist foundations in responsibly leveraging foundation balance sheets using emerging practices like program related investments, mission related investments, credit enhancement/guarantees, and debt.

Todd Ely Bio:
Todd Ely is associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and Director of the Center for Local Government Research and Training. He is interested in understanding how financial stewardship in public and nonprofit organizations can improve community impact. Todd’s research and teaching focus on the financing of public services, municipal debt, education finance and policy, and public and nonprofit financial management. His research targets both theory and practice. Todd joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver after earning his PhD in public administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.


Using Artificial Intelligence and Sensors to Quantify Mobility in Real-time

Date: 10/1/20
street in city with yellow bars
Principal Researchers: Dan Connors

Unit: Department of Electrical Engineering

Project Abstract:
While vast resources are being invested in the creation of autonomous vehicles, identical attention must be placed on making equal advances in smart, connected intelligent transportation infrastructure. SmartCity infrastructure enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) can perceive objects (e.g., vehicles, pedestrians, bikes, etc.) on the roadway and gather information on individual vehicles or composite state of traffic at a considerably finer level of granularity than present systems provide. The proposed seed grant will extend and promote the development of AI-based computer vision developed by Professor Connors and University of Colorado Denver’s Edge Computing Laboratory.

The core goal is to enable infrastructure-based computer visual perception and sensor fusion that quantify all mobility within transportation and urban areas. With an application to two areas of immediate practical interest the research will highlight using UC Denver Auraria campus as an open-research SmartCity environment: vehicle identification and classification, and smart intersection signaling. In both cases the project will utilize physically and visually realistic computer simulation to develop and evaluate deep learning neural network algorithms and follow with a pilot deployment of the algorithms for real-world validation with municipal partners. Overall, with the help of community partners, the seed funding will help extend existing work in artificial intelligence and computer vision further into the SmartCity domain. Seed support will impact the potential success of large-scale funding opportunities within National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation.

Developing Descriptive and Predictive Causal Models to Study the Impacts of Highway Construction on Ambient Air Quality in the Front Range

Date: 10/1/20
photo of various cars on I-70 near the mountains
Principal Researchers: Farnoush Banaei-Kashani

Unit: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Project Abstract:
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), building on a collaboration with Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), is initiating a multi-year Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded project to document and understand impacts of typical highway construction activities on air quality in the Front Range. As part of this project the team is deploying a variety of environmental monitoring sensors along the I-270 corridor, collecting multimodal environmental data including PM2.5, PM10, NOx, and total tVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds), to name a few. The existing collaboration has similar suites of sensors along the central I-70 corridor. With our proposed project, in partnership with the aforementioned team we will (1) obtain air quality data from the location targeted by the FHWA sponsored project, (2) augment and fuse the air quality data with publicly available construction, traffic, and weather datasets, and finally, (3) use the fused data to develop descriptive and predictive causal models that can quantify the impact of highway construction projects on air quality.

Understanding How EdD Students View Educational Research

Date: 9/28/20
Student Researcher:Dara Marin Prais

In this study, four types of qualitative data analysis methods were used to explore EdD student views of educational research. The findings indicated that although EdD students were able to identify the attributes of research, and understand the importance of research within their own educational practices, they lacked the necessary knowledge of research methodology. Recommendations for EdD research course designs were identified based on the research findings.

More Information: Video

Rasch Analysis of the COI Questionnaire

Date: 9/28/20
Student Researcher:Janice Thorpe

This presentation focused on the principal questionnaire used to examine online learning known as the Community of Inquiry (CoI) questionnaire (Caskurlu, 2018; Diaz, Swan, Ice, & Kupczynski, 2010; Shea et al., 2014) using Rasch model analysis.  Ensuring high quality online education requires confirmation that the instrument used to examine online courses is composed of valid indicators of the construct being studied.  Examining the characteristics of students who enroll in online courses and how they engage with the CoI questionnaire, is critical to high quality online instruction.

The Importance of Cultural Validity

Date: 9/28/20
Student Researcher:Crystal Luce

Multicultural and cultural validity are newer concepts that address the role of culture in the evaluation and assessment and thus not routine in analysis. The Structured Trauma-Related Experiences & Symptoms Screener (STRESS), is an instrument used to measure PTSD in children and though it is used to measure PTSD in children from multiple cultures, it was not validated with the various populations.  Thus, when a factorial ANOVA was completed on the STRESS, on refugee and immigrant children participating in the TRYP program, children from Asian countries scored significantly different than children from the rest of the world.  The presentation will explore the analysis and implications.

More Information: Video

Confirming LGBTW+ Minority Stress Theory with Structural Equation Modeling

Date: 8/16/20
Student Researcher:Ngoc Phan

This study explored the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community’s personal characteristics to mental health stress based on the Meyer’s (2003) model of Minority Stress. College students, faculty, and staff were surveyed to examine if each of the construct and overall theoretical framework of the Meyer’s model was supported with structural equation modeling. Although the results did not support every data proxy representing a construct, findings did support the overall theoretical model.

More Information: Video

The Development and Validation of Teen Beliefs on Relationship Abuse Measure (TBRAM)

Date: 8/16/20
Student Researcher:Chen Zong

The purpose of this study was to validate an original and innovative survey focused on both teens’ personal beliefs and how they perceived their peers’ beliefs regarding relationship abuse. Two confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models were examined with 591 high school students’ responses: The first CFA model was created based on the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) results, and the second CFA model was created based on the theoretically hypothesized model of six types of relationship abuse.

More Information: Video

Analysis of the Intensive Parenting Questionnaire Using Rasch Modeling

Date: 8/16/20
Student Researcher:Shani O’Brien

This video discusses the use of IRT and Rasch modeling to validate the Intensive Parenting Attitude Questionnaire (IPAQ). Exploratory factor analysis, dimensionality, misfitting items, scale use, item difficulty and Differential Item Functioning (DIF) are discussed.

More Information: Video

The Differentiated Impact of Distributed Leadership for Novice and Experienced Teachers

Date: 8/16/20
Student Researcher:Miriam Howland Cummings

Using a statewide survey administered to K-12 teachers in public schools, two structural equation models were developed to examine distributed leadership and its relationship to novice and experienced teachers’ job satisfaction. The first model indicated a direct path between distributed leadership and job satisfaction; the second model introduced satisfaction with leadership as a mediator. Group comparison showed significant differences between novice and experienced teachers, suggesting that distributed leadership has a more direct effect on job satisfaction for experienced teachers, while for novice teachers, the effect of distributed leadership is mediated more strongly by satisfaction with leadership.

More Information: Video

Amache Japanese American Confinement Site Grant – Phase 2

Date: 7/18/19
Principal Researchers:

Kat Vlahos (P.I.)
Mike Nulty
Kim Carpenter

Location: Amache Japanese American Confinement Site – Granada, CO

The Amache Japanese American Confinement Site or Granada War Relocation Center was located in southeast Colorado near the town of Granada. Amache was named after a Cheyenne chief’s daughter, wife of John Prowers.

The relocation center was in operation from August 27, 1942 and closed in 1945. The maximum population was 7,300. Most of the internees were from southern California including Los Angeles. The central section of Camp Amache was 640 acres (one square mile), made up primarily of 29 blocks of Army-style barracks. Each block had a mess hall, laundry, toilets, and a shower room. There were also shared administrative facilities such as a hospital, school, recreation buildings, a public library, dry goods store, barber shop, sewage plant, and post office. The internees were encouraged to make improvements to the center and responded by constructing three koi ponds and gardens, and planting trees between rows of barracks. A barbed wire fence surrounded the central section of the center with six watch towers along the perimeter. As in most of the relocation centers, armed military police manned the towers.

This site was documented using LiDAR, 3D laser scanning for the purpose of generating a highly accurate 3D model of the square mile site. In the first phase of this effort, buildings and structures were documented using the same technology. The scanning and post processing was completed by The Center of Preservation Research’s Mike Nulty and Student Research Assistant Kim Carpenter.

This effort was completed in partnership with the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Site Grants Program and the University of Colorado Denver, College of Architecture and Planning.

Amache II 001

Amache II 002

Kim Carpenter with a Leica P50 Scan StationLeica P50 Scan Station

Related Documents:

Precision-cut Lung Slices for Engineering ex vivo Models of Lung Cancer

Date: 7/1/20

Precision-cut lung slices are very thin slices of lung tissue that can be kept alive in culture outside of the body and studied as a model for a variety of chronic pulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, slices alone are only viable for about a week, which is not enough time to study disease mechanisms and treatment. The Magin Lab has used a hydrogel embedding process to maintain precision-cut lung slice viability ex vivo for up to 21 days.

In collaboration with Dr. Meredith Tennis, we aim to use this technology to engineer ex vivo models of lung cancer to study treatment options.

Lab members working on this project:
Rachel Blomberg, PhD (Bioengineering Postdoctoral Fellow)

Meredith Tennis, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Lori Nield, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Jeff Jacot, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Steven Lammers, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

Funding sources:

Hybrid-Hydrogels Comprising Clickable Decellularized Extracellular Matrix

Date: 7/1/20

Fibrotic disorders, including pulmonary fibrosis, account for over one-third of mortalities worldwide. Strong evidence indicates that cell-matrix interactions drive the progression of fibrosis - the formation of scar tissue. Yet it is not clear whether changes in matrix composition or the subsequent alterations in mechanical properties of the tissues are the more potent driver of fibrosis, i.e., the best target for therapeutics.

The Magin Lab in collaboration with Dr. Darcy Wagner at Lund University has invented a method for incorporating proteins from decellularized lung tissues into dynamically tunable hybrid-hydrogels to recreate this remodeling and study it in vitro.

Lab members working on this project:
  • Rukshika Hewawasam, PhD (Bioengineering Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Pete Serbedzija, PhD (PRA)
  • Darcy Wagner, PhD, Lund University, Sweden
  • Daniel Weiss, MD, PhD, University of Vermont
  • Kurt Stenmark, MD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Ginger Ferguson, PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder

Funding sources: