Navigation Links
Living cells behave like fluid-filled sponges
Date:1/7/2013

Animal cells behave like fluid-filled sponges in response to being mechanically deformed according to new research published today in Nature Materials.

Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at UCL have shown that animal cells behave according to the theory of 'poroelasticity' when mechanically stimulated in a way similar to that experienced in organs within the body. The results indicate that the rate of cell deformation in response to mechanical stress is limited by how quickly water can redistribute within the cell interior.

Poroelasticity was originally formulated to describe the behaviour of water-saturated soils and has important applications in the fields of rock engineering and petro-physics. It is commonly used in the petroleum industry. Poroelastic models describe cells as being analogous to fluid-filled sponges. Indeed, cells are constituted of a sponge-like porous elastic matrix (comprising the cytoskeleton, organelles, and macromolecules) bathed in an interstitial fluid (the cytosol).

In this analogy, the rate at which the fluid-filled sponge can be deformed is limited by how fast internal water can redistribute within the sponge in response to deformation. This rate is dictated by three parameters: the stiffness of the sponge matrix, the size of the pores within the sponge matrix, and the viscosity of the interstitial fluid.

To study cellular responses, LCN scientists used cell-sized levers to apply rapid well-controlled deformations on the cell surface and monitored the temporal response of cells to these deformations. Close examination of the experimental results revealed that the rate of cellular deformation was limited by how rapidly water could redistribute within the cell interior. Experimental measurements indicated that this sponge-like behaviour of cells likely occurs during normal function of organs such as the lungs and the cardiovascular system.

Emad Moeendarbary, lead author of the paper from the LCN said: "In the cardiovascular system, some tissues encounter extreme mechanical conditions. Heart valves can typically withstand 7-fold increases in their length in less than one second. The poroelastic nature of cells may allow them to behave similarly to shock absorbers when exposed to these extreme mechanical conditions."

To experimentally verify the fluid-filled sponge model, researchers manipulated the size of the cellular pores using chemical and genetic tools and showed that the rate of cellular deformation was affected by the pore size, as suggested by the theory of poroelasticity.

Guillaume Charras, senior co-author of the paper from the LCN said: "Cells can detect the mechanical forces they are subjected to and modify their behaviour accordingly. How changes in the mechanical environment are converted into biochemical information that the cell can interpret remains unknown. A better understanding of the physics of the cellular material is a first step towards formulating possible mechanisms through which this could occur."


'/>"/>

Contact: Clare Ryan
clare.ryan@ucl.ac.uk
44-077-475-65056
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. 3-D movies in your living room -- without the glasses
2. Novo Nordisk To Award $80,000 To Local Programs That Help People Living With Diabetes In Detroit As Part Of Educational Initiative
3. JCVI Researchers, as Part of NIH Human Microbiome Project Consortium, Publish Papers Detailing the Variety and Abundance of Microbes Living on and in the Human Body
4. Harvards Wyss Institute creates living human gut-on-a-chip
5. Systems Alliance Launches Redesigned Website for The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
6. CellerateRX® Added to List of Preferred Products for Golden Living Healthcare Network
7. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mobilize Body’s Own Healing Cells According to New Research Published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine
8. Autoimmune disease retraining white blood cells
9. Breast cancer cells growing in 3D-matrix revert to normal
10. The birth of new cardiac cells
11. On the hunt for rare cancer cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, ... into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal ... editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life ... Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back ... 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former ... CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the ... million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air ... one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 ... New York will feature emerging and evolving ... Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo ... of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending ... coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):