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Special Issue "Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Material Sciences and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. James H. Henderson (Website)

Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University, 318 Bowne Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
Phone: 315.443.9739

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In vitro studies have begun to elucidate the principles through which extracellular matrix (ECM) behavior supports and regulates morphogenesis. In recent years, engineered two- and three-dimensional substrates and scaffolds have provided increasingly powerful tools with which to investigate the relationships between cell mechanical behavior and ECM composition and organization. As engineered in vitro environments become more accurate biochemical and biophysical tools for investigating and modeling in vivo environments, the critical next step for many areas of cell biomechanics and mechanobiology will be incorporation of increased programmable physical functionality into the environments.

This special issue on programmable materials for mechanobiology focuses on research in which material functionality is driving advances in the understanding and application of mechanobiology. Continued progress in this important area of interdisciplinary effort requires diverse contributions from the fields of materials science, soft matter physics, mechanobiology, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, biomedical imaging, computational modeling, and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Dr. James H. Henderson
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biomaterials
  • soft matter
  • cell culture
  • three-dimensional culture
  • scaffold
  • substrate
  • ECM (extracellular matrix)
  • mechanobiology
  • mechanotransduction
  • biomechanics
  • computational modeling
  • stem and progenitor cells
  • tissue differentiation
  • tissue engineering

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Local Mechanical Stimulation of Mardin-Darby Canine Kidney Cell Sheets on Temperature-Responsive Hydrogel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1095-1108; doi:10.3390/ijms13011095
Received: 13 September 2011 / Revised: 25 December 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Collective motion of cell sheets plays a role not only in development and repair, but also in devastating diseases such as cancer. However, unlike single-cell motility, collective motion of cell sheets involves complex cell-cell communication during migration; therefore, its mechanism is largely [...] Read more.
Collective motion of cell sheets plays a role not only in development and repair, but also in devastating diseases such as cancer. However, unlike single-cell motility, collective motion of cell sheets involves complex cell-cell communication during migration; therefore, its mechanism is largely unknown. To elucidate propagation of signaling transduced by cell-cell interaction, we designed a hydrogel substrate that can cause local mechanical stretching of cell sheets. Poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogel is a temperature-responsive polymer gel whose volume changes isotropically in response to temperature changes below 37 °C. We designed a combined hydrogel substrate consisting of collagen-immobilized PNIPAAm as the local stimulation side and polyacrylamide (PAAm) as the non-stimulation side to assess propagation of mechanical transduction. Mardin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PNIPAAm gel increased it area and were flattened as the gel swelled with temperature decrease. E-cadherin in these cells became undetectable in some domains, and actin stress fibers were more clearly observed at the cell base. In contrast, E-cadherin in cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PAAm side was equally stained as that in cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PAAm side even after temperature decrease. ERK1/2 MAPK activation of cells on the non-stimulated substrate occurred after partial stretching of the cell sheet suggesting the propagation of signaling. These results indicate that a change in the balance of mechanical tension induced by partial stretching of cell sheets leads to activation and propagation of the cell signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)

Review

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Open AccessReview Mechanobiology of Platelets: Techniques to Study the Role of Fluid Flow and Platelet Retraction Forces at the Micro- and Nano-Scale
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(12), 9009-9030; doi:10.3390/ijms12129009
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 24 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 7 December 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coagulation involves a complex set of events that are important in maintaining hemostasis. Biochemical interactions are classically known to regulate the hemostatic process, but recent evidence has revealed that mechanical interactions between platelets and their surroundings can also play a substantial role. [...] Read more.
Coagulation involves a complex set of events that are important in maintaining hemostasis. Biochemical interactions are classically known to regulate the hemostatic process, but recent evidence has revealed that mechanical interactions between platelets and their surroundings can also play a substantial role. Investigations into platelet mechanobiology have been challenging however, due to the small dimensions of platelets and their glycoprotein receptors. Platelet researchers have recently turned to microfabricated devices to control these physical, nanometer-scale interactions with a higher degree of precision. These approaches have enabled exciting, new insights into the molecular and biomechanical factors that affect platelets in clot formation. In this review, we highlight the new tools used to understand platelet mechanobiology and the roles of adhesion, shear flow, and retraction forces in clot formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
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Open AccessReview Approaches to Manipulating the Dimensionality and Physicochemical Properties of Common Cellular Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(12), 8596-8609; doi:10.3390/ijms12128596
Received: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 18 November 2011 / Published: 29 November 2011
PDF Full-text (581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A major hurdle in studying biological systems and administering effective tissue engineered therapies is the lack of suitable cell culture models that replicate the dynamic nature of cell-microenvironment interactions. Advances in the field of surface chemistry and polymer science have allowed researchers [...] Read more.
A major hurdle in studying biological systems and administering effective tissue engineered therapies is the lack of suitable cell culture models that replicate the dynamic nature of cell-microenvironment interactions. Advances in the field of surface chemistry and polymer science have allowed researchers to develop novel methodologies to manipulate materials to be extrinsically tunable. Usage of such materials in modeling tissues in vitro has offered valuable insights into numerous cellular processes including motility, invasion, and alterations in cell morphology. Here, we discuss novel techniques devised to more closely mimic cell-tissue interactions and to study cell response to distinct physico-chemical changes in biomaterials, with an emphasis on the manipulation of collagen scaffolds. The benefits and pitfalls associated with using collagen are discussed in the context of strategies proposed to control the engineered microenvironment. Tunable systems such as these offer the ability to alter individual features of the microenvironment in vitro, with the promise that the molecular basis of mechanotransduction in vivo may be laid out in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
Open AccessReview Cell-Biomaterial Mechanical Interaction in the Framework of Tissue Engineering: Insights, Computational Modeling and Perspectives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8217-8244; doi:10.3390/ijms12118217
Received: 17 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (4133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tissue engineering is an emerging field of research which combines the use of cell-seeded biomaterials both in vitro and/or in vivo with the aim of promoting new tissue formation or regeneration. In this context, how cells colonize and interact with the biomaterial [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering is an emerging field of research which combines the use of cell-seeded biomaterials both in vitro and/or in vivo with the aim of promoting new tissue formation or regeneration. In this context, how cells colonize and interact with the biomaterial is critical in order to get a functional tissue engineering product. Cell-biomaterial interaction is referred to here as the phenomenon involved in adherent cells attachment to the biomaterial surface, and their related cell functions such as growth, differentiation, migration or apoptosis. This process is inherently complex in nature involving many physico-chemical events which take place at different scales ranging from molecular to cell body (organelle) levels. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the mechanical environment at the cell-biomaterial location may play an important role in the subsequent cell function, which remains to be elucidated. In this paper, the state-of-the-art research in the physics and mechanics of cell-biomaterial interaction is reviewed with an emphasis on focal adhesions. The paper is focused on the different models developed at different scales available to simulate certain features of cell-biomaterial interaction. A proper understanding of cell-biomaterial interaction, as well as the development of predictive models in this sense, may add some light in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
Open AccessReview Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7662-7691; doi:10.3390/ijms12117662
Received: 21 September 2011 / Revised: 27 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease amongst women worldwide and metastasis is the main cause of death due to breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells display similar characteristics. However, unlike metastatic breast cancer cells, ES cells [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease amongst women worldwide and metastasis is the main cause of death due to breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells display similar characteristics. However, unlike metastatic breast cancer cells, ES cells are nonmalignant. Furthermore, embryonic microenvironments have the potential to convert metastatic breast cancer cells into a less invasive phenotype. The creation of in vitro embryonic microenvironments will enable better understanding of ES cell-breast cancer cell interactions, help elucidate tumorigenesis, and lead to the restriction of breast cancer metastasis. In this article, we will present the characteristics of breast cancer cells and ES cells as well as their microenvironments, importance of embryonic microenvironments in inhibiting tumorigenesis, convergence of tumorigenic and embryonic signaling pathways, and state of the art in bioengineering embryonic microenvironments for breast cancer research. Additionally, the potential application of bioengineered embryonic microenvironments for the prevention and treatment of invasive breast cancer will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
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