Our Areas of Research:

Our research focuses on using stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. Current areas of resarch in our lab include work on cardiomyocytes, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN), and the effects of smoking on stem cell migration and differentiation

With our custom designed bioreactor we induce stem cells towards a cardiomyocyte lineage. Current issues with stem cell derived cardiomyocytes are that they do not exhibit spontaneous contraction. Using stimulation protocols we attempt to induce contraction in these cells.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is a disease that is characterized by the degeneration of peripehral nerves in diabetic patients. This can lead to severe pain and eventually amputation. We attempt to drive cells toward a neural lineage and monitor the secretion of neurotrophic factors. These neurotrophic factors have been shown to be beneficial to those suffering from DPN.

Smokers are known to have a longer time in healing broken bones than non-smokers. We are attempting to identify why by looking at propeties such as calcification, migration of stem cells, and viscosity of stem cells when cultured in the presence of nicotine.

Funding: Our research is currently funded by National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Major Equipment:

Stem Cell and Regnerative Medicine Laboratory:

Dr. Cheung’s laboratory space consists of two fully equipped tissue culture laboratories with 3 incubators, 2 laminar flow hoods, a chemical fume hood, a Victor X4 Multimode Plate Reader and a Nikon inverted microscope with [Ca2+]i measurement equipment. Other major equipment includes: Sorvall RC-5B, Beckman XL-80 ultracentrifuge, -20°C freezers, -80°C freezers, refrigerators, microfuges, polytron homogenizer, Beckman DU-64 spectrophotometer, liquid scintillation counter, power supply/electrophoresis units, microplate reader, DNA thermal cycler, bacterial air shaker, water baths, hybridizer/UV startalinker, DNA fluorometer, and luminometer. Additionally there are N2 storage tanks, an autoclave machine, dishwasher, cold room, walk-in refrigerators and ice machine available in the common space.

Tissue Engineering Laboratory:

This laboratory consists of 3 incubators, 2 laminar flow hoods, Keithley digital source meter (Model 2400), Sensotec high-precision pressure transducer and indicator, Leica SM2400 sledge Microtome with freezing stage, refrigerators, Marvel lab freezer (-20°C), CO2 incubator, Nuaire biological safety cabinet, and personal computers which are interfaced with the academic computing facilities of UM.

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