Alexander A. Spector

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Spatial patterns of cellular growth generate mechanical stresses that help to push, fold, expand, and deform tissues into their specific forms. Genetic factors are thought to specify patterns of growth and other behaviors to drive morphogenesis. Here, we show that tissue form itself can feed back to regulate patterns of proliferation. Using(More)
We investigated the mechanotransduction pathway in endothelial cells between their nucleus and adhesions to the extracellular matrix. First, we measured nuclear deformations in response to alterations of cell shape as cells detach from a flat surface. We found that the nuclear deformation appeared to be in direct and immediate response to alterations of the(More)
Endothelial cells possess a mechanical network connecting adhesions on the basal surface, the cytoskeleton, and the nucleus. Transmission of force at adhesions via this pathway can deform the nucleus, ultimately resulting in an alteration of gene expression and other cellular changes (mechanotransduction). Previously, we measured cell adhesion area and(More)
The low-pass voltage response of outer hair cells predicted by conventional equivalent circuit analysis would preclude the active force production at high frequencies. We have found that the band pass characteristics can be improved by introducing the piezoelectric properties of the cell wall. In contrast to the conventional analysis, the receptor potential(More)
Cell membrane tethers are formed naturally (e.g., in leukocyte rolling) and experimentally to probe membrane properties. In cochlear outer hair cells, the plasma membrane is part of the trilayer lateral wall, where the membrane is attached to the cytoskeleton by a system of radial pillars. The mechanics of these cells is important to the sound amplification(More)
Protrusions are deformations that form at the surface of living cells during biological activities such as cell migration. Using combined optical tweezers and fluorescent microscopy, we quantified the mechanical properties of protrusions in adherent human embryonic kidney cells in response to application of an external force at the cell surface. The(More)
In hair cells, although mechanotransduction channels have been localized to tips of shorter stereocilia of the mechanically sensitive hair bundle, little is known about how force is transmitted to the channel. Here, we use a biophysical model of the membrane-channel complex to analyze the nature of the gating spring compliance and channel arrangement. We(More)
Membrane protein prestin is a critical component of the motor complex that generates forces and dimensional changes in cells in response to changes in the cell membrane potential. In its native cochlear outer hair cell, prestin is crucial to the amplification and frequency selectivity of the mammalian ear up to frequencies of tens of kHz. Other cells(More)
Cochlear outer hair cells (OHC) are critically important for the amplification and sharp frequency selectivity of the mammalian ear. The microchamber experiment has been an effective tool to analyze the OHC high-frequency performance. In this study, the OHC electrical stimulation in the microchamber is simulated. The model takes into account the inertial(More)
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are clinically important in regenerative medicine as they are relatively easy to obtain, are characterized by low morbidity, and can differentiate into myogenic progenitor cells. Although studies have elucidated the principal markers, PAX7, Desmin, MyoD, and MHC, the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. This(More)