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More than a century ago, it was proposed that mechanical forces could drive tissue formation. However, only recently with the advent of enabling biophysical and molecular technologies are we beginning to understand how individual cells transduce mechanical force into biochemical signals. In turn, this knowledge of mechanotransduction at the cellular level(More)
Engineered myocardial tissues can be used to elucidate fundamental features of myocardial biology, develop organotypic in vitro model systems, and as engineered tissue constructs for replacing damaged heart tissue in vivo. However, a key limitation is an inability to test the wide range of parameters (cell source, mechanical, soluble and electrical stimuli)(More)
The brain deformation that occurs during neurosurgery is a serious issue impacting the patient "safety" as well as the invasiveness of the brain surgery. Model-driven compensation is a realistic and efficient solution to solve this problem. However, a vital issue is the lack of reliable and easily obtainable patient-specific mechanical characteristics of(More)
Densely arrayed skeletal myotubes are activated individually and as a group using precise optical stimulation with high spatiotemporal resolution. Skeletal muscle myoblasts are genetically encoded to express a light-activated cation channel, Channelrhodopsin-2, which allows for spatiotemporal coordination of a multitude of skeletal myotubes that contract in(More)
A novel bio-magnetomechanical microtissue system is described for magnetic actuation of arrays of 3D microtissues using microcantilevers. This system enables both in situ measurements of fundamental mechanical properties of engineered tissue, such as contractility and stiffness, as well as dynamic stimulation of the microtissues. Using this system, cell and(More)
Airway smooth muscle (ASM) cellular and molecular biology is typically studied with single-cell cultures grown on flat 2D substrates. However, cells in vivo exist as part of complex 3D structures, and it is well established in other cell types that altering substrate geometry exerts potent effects on phenotype and function. These factors may be especially(More)
In this paper we report a fundamental morphological instability of constrained 3D microtissues induced by positive chemomechanical feedback between actomyosin-driven contraction and the mechanical stresses arising from the constraints. Using a 3D model for mechanotransduction we find that perturbations in the shape of contractile tissues grow in an unstable(More)
Contractile forces generated by cells and the stiffness of the surrounding extracellular matrix are two central mechanical factors that regulate cell function. To characterize the dynamic evolution of these two mechanical parameters during tissue morphogenesis, we developed a magnetically actuated micro-mechanical testing system in which(More)