The primary goal of the Hahn Tissue Lab is to expose specific cell responses to external stimuli and develop predictive relations between input stimuli and output cell behavior. These relations will one day serve as powerful tools enabling the selection of input stimuli to achieve desired cell behavior. A range of fields will benefit from these tools, including guided stem cell differentiation and tissue engineering/regeneration.

The Hahn Tissue Lab is concerned with gaining comprehensive knowledge on intracellular signaling and cell culture environment. At any given time there are numerous factors that influence the eventual role of a cell. External stimuli acting upon the function of the cell include mechanical forces, extracellular matrix cells, soluble regulators, and cell-cell interactions. Extracellular matrix cells typically provide cellular structural support and are pertinent in connective tissues, yet they are gaining widespread attention for their role in the regrowth and repair of damaged tissues. Soluble regulators stimulate cells to grow and multiply. And finally, cell-cell interactions refer to the direct communication between cells that assist in the development and function of the cells.

Conventional cell engineering studies are narrow in scope and examine either only the effects of specific external stimuli on eventual cell behavior or pre-selected signaling pathways. These limited tissue-engineering analyses produce incomplete insight into the intracellular signaling underlying observed extracellular matrix cells synthesis or cell markers.

Although extracellular matrix cell production/organization and cell marker data are linked to external stimuli, the relationship is not unique. Without specific input-output relations, the external stimuli, or cell culture environment, cannot be selected in a manual manner to produce the desired tissue engineered results.

The Hahn Tissue Lab is dedicated to developing predictive links between specific input stimuli and the desired tissue-engineering outcome. Work in the laboratory is focused on building upon traditional tissue engineering experimental design. The Hahn Tissue Lab continues to incorporate more complete cell-state analyses that are provided by conventional extracellular matrix cell deposition and cell marker analyses. Furthermore, the Hahn Tissue Lab is committed to developing new methods for controlled analysis of specific input stimuli and subsequent cell behavior and engineered tissue properties.