Navigation Links
Mechanical regulation of cell substrates effects stem cell development, adhesion
Date:8/1/2010

PHILADELPHIA - Bioengineers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a system to control the flexibility of the substrate surfaces on which cells are grown without changing the surface properties, providing a technique for more controlled lab experiments on cellular mechanobiology, an important step in the scientific effort to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces in their environment.

Researchers created a library of micromolded, hexagonally spaced elastomeric micropost arrays, one to a few microns high, on which they cultivated cells. The micropost system allowed engineers to modulate the rigidity and flexibility of the substrate surface without changing the adhesive or other material surface properties that could affect cell growth. Post height determined the degree to which a post would bend in response to a cell's horizontal traction force. The system enabled researchers to map cell traction forces to individual focal adhesions and spatially quantify sub-cellular distributions of focal-adhesion area, traction force and focal-adhesion stress.

The research, published in the current issue of the journal Nature Methods, demonstrated that the height of the posts determined the flexibility of the surface substrate, which in turn impacted the cell's morphology, leading to differences in focal adhesions, cytoskeletal contractility and stem-cell differentiation. Furthermore, early changes in cytoskeletal contractility measured by the devices predicted lineage fate decisions made days later by the stem cells.

"The library of micropost arrays spanned a more than 1,000-fold range of rigidity from 1.31 nN μm−1 up to 1,556 nN μm−1," said Chris Chen, lead author and the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn. "Furthermore, the micropost array library will be made available to researchers in other laboratories."

Using current methods, it was not possible to change surface rigidity without also affecting other cellular properties such as the amount of active ligand molecules presented to cells, making it difficult to tease out the precise contributions of rigidity to cellular behavior.

Prior techniques employed the culture of cells on hydrogels derived from natural extracellular matrix proteins at different densities; however, changing densities of the gels impacted not only mechanical rigidity but also the amount of the binding or signaling ligand, leaving uncertainty as to the relevant contribution of these two matrix properties on the observed cellular response. Other synthetic hydrogels have been used that can vary rigidity without altering ligand density, but such systems cannot separate whether cells are sensing flexibility of individual molecules or of the macroscale mechanics.

"Although hydrogels will continue to be important in characterizing and controlling cell-material interactions, alternative approaches are necessary to understand how cells sense changes in substrate rigidity," Chen said.

In the body, cells do not exist in isolation but are in constant contact with other cells and with the extracellular matrix, providing structural support as well as both molecular and mechanical signals. In prior research, Chen's team has demonstrated that the push and pull of cellular forces drives the buckling, extension and contraction of cells during tissue development. These processes ultimately shape the architecture of tissues and play an important role in coordinating cell signaling, gene expression and behavior, and they are essential for wound healing and tissue homeostasis in adult organisms.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Cellular mechanical forces may initiate angiogenesis
2. Scientists create artificial human skin with biomechanical properties using tissue engineering
3. Small mechanical forces have big impact on embryonic stem cells
4. Company Granted Patent on Apparatus, Systems, and Methods for Gathering and Processing Wireless Biometric and Biomechanical Data
5. Clemson researchers advance nano-scale electromechanical sensors
6. Flemish researchers provide the first experimental evidence of dynamic allostery in protein regulation
7. Remote control for cholesterol regulation discovered in brain
8. New computational method to uncover gene regulation
9. New data on the regulation of a protein that is altered in all cancers
10. Rewiring of gene regulation across 300 million years of evolution
11. Gene regulation: Can we stomach it?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mechanical regulation of cell substrates effects stem cell development, adhesion
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the ... institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the Class ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample ... the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: