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Micron-sized Device Examines Tissue Development
Posted: June 23, 2009
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By mapping these relationships between cellular and matrix mechanics, cellular forces and protein expression onto a bio-chemo-mechanical model of microtissue contractility, the team demonstrated how intratissue gradients of mechanical stress can emerge from collective cellular contractility and, finally, how such gradients can be used to engineer protein composition and organization within a 3-D tissue.
The researchers see potential for high-throughput drug testing with the model, where they find research may identify new ways to increase the contractility of cardiac muscle or to relax arteries to treat hypertension. The researchers created a mathematical model of the entire process that accurately predicted the experimental results.
The study was conducted by Chris Chen, Wesley Legant, Michael T. Yang, Amit Pathak, Robert M. McMeeking and Vikram S. Deshpande. The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, an Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, the Material Research Science and Engineering Center and Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration at Penn, the US Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need and the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship.
-University of Pennsylvania