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)
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)
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)
Outer hair cell electromotility is crucial for the amplification, sharp frequency selectivity, and nonlinearities of the mammalian cochlea. Current modeling efforts based on morphological, physiological, and biophysical observations reveal transmembrane potential gradients and membrane tension as key independent variables controlling the passive and active(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)
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)
The passive and active properties of the cochlear outer hair cell are studied. The outer hair cell is currently considered the major candidate for the active component of mammalian hearing. Understanding of its properties may explain the amplification and sharp frequency selectivity of the ear. To analyse the cell behaviour, a model of a nonlinear(More)
We analyze the nonlinear behavior of the longitudinal and circumferential components of the active force generated by the outer hair cell wall in response to changes of its transmembrane potential. We treat the material of the wall as electroelastic, linear orthotropic in terms of strains and as nonlinear in terms of the transmembrane potential. To describe(More)
We present the results of a modeling study on the impact of mechanosensitive channels in the lateral wall of the outer hair cell on the cell frequency response. The model includes the electrical properties of the cell membrane, piezoelectricity associated with a membrane motor mechanism, and mechanosensitive channels in the cell lateral wall. The outer hair(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)