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  • Community health workers on a college campus: Effects on influenza vaccination JOURNAL OF AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH Huang, J. J., Francesconi, M., Cooper, M. H., Covello, A., Guo, M., Gharib, S. D. 2018; 66 (4): 317–23


    To assess the impact of a campus community health worker program (HealthPALs) on student influenza vaccination.Undergraduate students at a northeastern US university (enrollment 6650), influenza seasons 2011-2012 through 2015-2016.Study design: Difference-in-differences analysis of student vaccination at campus dormitory influenza clinics during intervention vs. baseline.In the first intervention year, HealthPALs conducted in-person peer outreach at several campus dormitory flu clinics. Subsequent years, HealthPALs conducted an enhanced intervention, with the addition of a personalized, dormitory-specific social media campaign appealing to students' community identity.The initial intervention increased vaccinations by 66% (IRR = 1.66, 95%CI 1.39-1.97) at intervention clinics relative to control. The enhanced intervention increased vaccinations by 85% (IRR = 1.85, 95%CI 1.75-1.96).Community health workers can be a highly effective, low-cost strategy for increasing influenza vaccination among college students. This model could also be used to address other campus health challenges where student engagement is key.

    View details for PubMedID 29447623

  • Deterministic encapsulation of single cells in thin tunable microgels for niche modelling and therapeutic delivery. Nature materials Mao, A. S., Shin, J., Utech, S., Wang, H., Uzun, O., Li, W., Cooper, M., Hu, Y., Zhang, L., Weitz, D. A., Mooney, D. J. 2017; 16 (2): 236-243


    Existing techniques to encapsulate cells into microscale hydrogels generally yield high polymer-to-cell ratios and lack control over the hydrogel's mechanical properties. Here, we report a microfluidic-based method for encapsulating single cells in an approximately six-micrometre layer of alginate that increases the proportion of cell-containing microgels by a factor of ten, with encapsulation efficiencies over 90%. We show that in vitro cell viability was maintained over a three-day period, that the microgels are mechanically tractable, and that, for microscale cell assemblages of encapsulated marrow stromal cells cultured in microwells, osteogenic differentiation of encapsulated cells depends on gel stiffness and cell density. We also show that intravenous injection of singly encapsulated marrow stromal cells into mice delays clearance kinetics and sustains donor-derived soluble factors in vivo. The encapsulation of single cells in tunable hydrogels should find use in a variety of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nmat4781

    View details for PubMedID 27798621

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5372217

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