ME Seminar Series: Microtechnology for Quantitative Mechanobiology
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side A
Quantitative experiments in cellular and organism biomechanics and mechanotransduction demand novel measurement and analysis systems with appropriately tuned mechanical environments and imaging access. We design and fabricate our own tools and systems to address specific measurement needs and are concerned with robust manufacturing and ease of operation for biological research. Biological questions of interest include understanding the sense of touch and hearing, as well as the mechanisms and forces of cell adhesion and tissue development in response to physiological mechanical stimuli. These studies require deformable culture systems designed with appropriate cell-substrate interfaces, cell-cell interactions, and embedded force metrologies compatible with live cell imaging. We deploy deformable cell culture environments and microsystems to apply strain to cells cultured in 2D monolayers or encapsulated in 3D scaffolds. Multi-well and micropatterned devices enable testing multiple conditions such as strain magnitude, biaxial or uniaxial strains in one experiment for high throughput screening of parameters. I will discuss the design and application of quantitative assays to open questions of mechanobiology in cell physiology, stem cells, and biology.