17 Sep 2020

UM Data Science Research Seminar

The UM Data Science Research Seminar Series are monthly sessions organised by the Institute of Data Science, on behalf of the UM Data Science Community, in collaboration with different departments across UM with the aim to bring together data scientists from Maastricht University to discuss breakthroughs and research topics related to Data Science.

This session is organised in collaboration with the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine.



Presentation 1

Time: 12:00 - 12:30

Title: Development of ideal bone graft substitutes using data-driven approaches

Speaker: Yousra Alaoui Selsouli

Abstract: Over 20 million people suffer from bone injuries annually, and the prevalence of this global clinical problem is rapidly increasing due to the aging of the population. Autologous bone transplantation, commonly used for regenerating large, critical-sized bone defects, is usually associated with important limitations such as donor site morbidity, limited availability of the tissue and additional surgical time. Therefore, there is a growing need for effective and preferably synthetic bone graft alternatives, which can be inexpensive and available off-the-shelf.

In contrast to the conventional one-experiment-for-one-material methods for developing new biomaterials, our aim is to develop a platform that allows high-throughput production and screening of advanced functional biomaterials for bone repair. Recent microfluidic-based developments, for example, allow for the high-throughput production and screening of combinatorial libraries of biomaterials and using such approaches, results in generating a large dataset, containing many interrelated parameters involved in the complex mechanism of tissue regeneration. Including advanced data-driven approaches in the biomaterials field, contribute in a better understanding of the biomaterials properties, increasing the efficiency of the biomaterials production and unraveling the role of biomaterials properties on the biological mechanisms involved in biomaterial-induced tissue formation.

Presentation 2

Time: 12:30 - 13:00

Title: Win, lose or tie: a computational model of the competition at the cell-ECM interface

Speaker: Zeynep Karagöz

Abstract: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a mesh of fibrous proteins that form the basis of the tissue architecture and structurally supports the cells. Biophysical cues provided by the ECM are translated into biochemical signals by transmembrane integrin molecules.

Understanding the interaction between the ECM and integrin molecules is particularly important when designing instructive biomaterials and organoid culture systems. Previous studies suggest that fine-tuning the ECM composition and mechanical properties can improve organoid development. Towards the bigger goal of fully functional organoiddevelopment, we hypothesize that resolving the dynamics of ECM-integrin interactions will be highly instructive. To this end, we developed a mathematicalmodel that enabled us to simulate three main interactions, namely integrinactivation, ligand binding and integrin clustering.

Different from previously published computational models, we account for the binding of more than one type of ligand to the same type of integrin. This competition between ligands defines the fate of the system. We have demonstrated that the ligand with higherbinding rate occupies more integrins at the steady state than does the competing ligand. Whereas the changes of the ligand abundances in the system define the timing of binding and clustering events. Future work will focus on extending the model with intracellular pathways, including developing data-driven approaches to identify and calibrate the pathways of interest. With cell type specific, quantitative input on integrin-ligand binding rates, this model can be used to develop instructive cell culture systems.


MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine