Ramin Zareian

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Load-bearing tissues owe their mechanical strength to their highly anisotropic collagenous structure. To date attempts to engineer mechanically strong connective tissue have failed, mainly due to a lack of ability to reproduce the native collagen organization in constructs synthesized by cultured cells in vitro. The ability to influence the orientation of(More)
Collagen in vertebrate animals is often arranged in alternating lamellae or in bundles of aligned fibrils which are designed to withstand in vivo mechanical loads. The formation of these organized structures is thought to result from a complex, large-area integration of individual cell motion and locally-controlled synthesis of fibrillar arrays via(More)
Second harmonic generation (SHG) is a well-established optical modality widely used in biomedical optics to image collagen based tissues. The coherent signal of the forward direction SHG produces a high resolution image that can resolve individual fibers (groups of fibrils). In highly ordered collagen lamellae, such as in the corneal stroma, it is important(More)
Mechanical strain or stretch of collagen has been shown to be protective of fibrils against both thermal and enzymatic degradation. The details of this mechanochemical relationship could change our understanding of load-bearing tissue formation, growth, maintenance, and disease in vertebrate animals. However, extracting a quantitative relationship between(More)
Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea becomes cone-like due to structural thinning and ultimately leads to compromised corneal integrity and loss of vision. Currently, the therapeutic options are corrective lenses for early stages and surgery for advanced cases with no in vitro model available. In this study, we used human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs) and(More)
PURPOSE We have previously shown that TGF-β3 (T3) stimulates extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly while maintaining antifibrotic characteristics in a model using human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs). This model, however, requires non-physiological levels of serum. In the current study, we tested whether T3 could stimulate human corneal keratocytes (HCKs) in(More)
Collagen's success as the principal structural element in load-bearing, connective tissue has motivated the development of numerous engineering approaches designed to recapitulate native fibril morphology and strength. It has been shown recently that collagen fibers can be drawn from monomeric solution through a fiber forming buffer (FFB), followed by(More)
Currently available bioreactor systems used by tissue engineers permit either direct, high-magnification observation of cell behavior or application of mechanical loads to growing tissue constructs, but not both simultaneously. Further, in most loading bioreactors, the volume of the dead space is not minimized to reduce the cost associated with perfusion(More)
Doctor of Philosophy Mechanical load is believed to play a critical role in tissue formation, growth, maintenance, and disease in vertebrate animals. Although many studies have investigated the effect of mechanical stimuli on biological processes, the dynamics of these processes have not been closely explored. Live long-term observation of the collective(More)
Three-dimensional vertically aligned nano- and micropillars have emerged as promising tools for a variety of biological applications. Despite their increasing usage, the interaction mechanisms of cells with these rigid structures and their effect on single- and collective-cell behaviors are not well understood for different cell types. In the present study,(More)