Nalini Gupta graduated from MIT in 2005 with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and minor in Biomedical Engineering. Her undergraduate research was conducted under Professor Gregory Rutledge and was focused on the use of electrospun polymer scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering. Nalini began her graduate research in the Materials department with Professor Craig Hawker in the fall of 2005.
Nalini’s current research is in characterizing poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels formed via ‘Click’ chemistry. The use of a highly efficient crosslinking chemistry allows for well-defined hydrogels with few dangling bonds. The ‘Click’ reaction also allows for the hydrogels to be formed in the presence of a variety of functional groups, such as cell media for biological applications. The current prospects for the project involve the conjugation of peptides to the hydrogels for use in high throughput analysis of stem cell behavior in the presence of a controlled concentration and combination of various matrix proteins.