Britta Trappmann

Research Topic

We investigate the impact of extracellular matrix properties on cell behavior, in particular in the context of angiogenesis. Specifically, we study how the interplay of matrix mechanics, degradability and adhesivity controls angiogenic sprouting. Since these parameters cannot be separated in in vivo tissues, we develop novel synthetic hydrogels with independently tunable matrix properties.

By integrating our hydrogels into microfluidic devices, we are able to closely mimic the process of angiogenic sprouting within a controllable environment. Taking a highly interdisciplinary approach, our research combines mechanistic cell biology studies with novel materials chemistry and platform engineering.

Selected Publications

  • Trappmann, B.*,#, Baker, B.*, Polacheck, W., Choi, C., Burdick, J., and Chen, C.# (2017). Matrix degradability controls multicellularity of 3D cell migration.  Nat Commun 8:371. *equal contribution, #co-corresponding authors
  • *Baker, B., *Trappmann, B., Wang, W., Sakar, M., Kim, I., Shenoy, V., Burdick, J. and Chen, C. (2015). Cell-mediated fiber recruitment drives extracellular matrix mechanosensing in engineered fibrillar microenvironments. Nature Mater 14:1262-1268. *: equal contribution
  • Abhilash, A., Baker, B., Trappmann, B. and Chen, C. (2014). Remodeling of Fibrous Extracellular Matrices by Contractile Cells: Predictions from Discrete Fiber Network Simulations. Biophys J 107:1829-1840.
  • *Blakely, B., *Dumelin, C., *Trappmann, B., McGregor, L., Choi, C., Anthony, P., Duesterberg, V., Baker, B., Block, S., Liu, D. and Chen, C. (2014). A DNA-based molecular probe for optically reporting cellular traction forces. Nat Methods 11:1229-1232. *: equal contribution.
  • Trappmann, B. and Chen, C. (2013). How cells sense extracellular matrix stiffness: a material’s perspective. Curr Opin Biotech 24:948-953.
  • Baker, B., Trappmann, B., Stapleton, S., Toro, E. and Chen, C. (2013). Microfluidics embedded within extracellular matrix to define vascular architectures and pattern diffusive gradients. Lab Chip 13:3246-3252.
  • Trappmann, B., Gautrot, J., Connelly, J., Strange, D., Li, Y., Oyen, M., Cohen Stuart, M., Boehm, H., Li, B., Vogel, V., Spatz, J., Watt, F. and Huck, W. (2012). Extracellular-matrix tethering regulates stem cell fate. Nature Mater 11:642-649.
  • Trappmann, B., Ludwig, K., Radowski, M., Shukla, A., Rehage, H., Böttcher, C. and Haag, R. (2010). A new family of nonionic dendritic amphiphiles displaying unexpected packing parameters in micellar assemblies. J Am Chem Soc 132:11119-11124.
  • Connelly, J., Gautrot, J., Trappmann, B., Tan, D., Donati, G., Huck, W. and Chen, C. (2010). Actin and serum response factor transduce physical cues from the microenvironment to regulate epidermal stem cell fate decisions. Nat Cell Biol 12:711-718.
  • Gautrot, J., Trappmann, B., Oceguera-Yanez, F., Connelly, J., He, X., Watt, F. and Huck, W. (2010). Exploiting the superior protein resistance of polymer brushes to control single cell adhesion and polarisation at the micron scale. Biomaterials 31:5030-5040.