Wylie W. Ahmed

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The mechanical micro-environment influences cellular responses such as migration, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Cells are subjected to mechanical stretching in vivo, e.g., epithelial cells during embryogenesis. Current methodologies do not allow high-resolution in situ observation of cells and tissues under applied strain, which may reveal(More)
In somatic cells, the position of the cell centroid is dictated by the centrosome. The centrosome is instrumental in nucleus positioning, the two structures being physically connected. Mouse oocytes have no centrosomes, yet harbour centrally located nuclei. We demonstrate how oocytes define their geometric centre in the absence of centrosomes. Using live(More)
Effective intracellular transport of proteins and organelles is critical in cells, and is especially important for ensuring proper neuron functionality. In neurons, most proteins are synthesized in the cell body and must be transported through thin structures over long distances where normal diffusion is insufficient. Neurons transport subcellular cargo(More)
Vesicle transport in neurons is a highly complex nonequilibrium process. Their subcellular environment is undergoing constant fluctuations from thermal energy and molecular motors. Vesicle transport is an interplay between random motion (passive) and directed motion (active) driven by molecular motors along cytoskeletal filaments. It has been shown that(More)
Mechanical forces and geometric constraints play critical roles in determining cell functionality and tissue development. Novel experimental methods are essential to explore the underlying biological mechanisms of cell response. We present a versatile method to culture cells on adhesive micro-patterned substrates while applying long-term cyclic tensile(More)
Growing experimental evidence suggests that mechanical tension plays a significant role in determining the growth, guidance, and function of neurons. Mechanical tension in axons contributes to neurotransmitter clustering at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and is actively regulated by neurons both in vitro and in vivo. In this work, we applied(More)
With the emergence of microscale biotechnology, such as biomicroelectromechanical systems (“Bio-MEMS”) and microfluidic-based microchips for sensing and diagnostics, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based elastomers have become very popular materials. PDMS elastomers possess several features that are well suited for these applications: mechanical stability and(More)
Living cells are active mechanical systems that are able to generate forces. Their structure and shape are primarily determined by biopolymer filaments and molecular motors that form the cytoskeleton. Active force generation requires constant consumption of energy to maintain the nonequilibrium activity to drive organization and transport processes(More)
Active diffusion of intracellular components is emerging as an important process in cell biology. This process is mediated by complex assemblies of molecular motors and cytoskeletal filaments that drive force generation in the cytoplasm and facilitate enhanced motion. The kinetics of molecular motors have been precisely characterized in-vitro by single(More)
To keep the mechanical integrity of an organism it seems obvious that cells, as the building blocks, must be solid. Although it is clear that switching to a fluid would be catastrophic for organization of the body, it turns out that living cells do change their mechanical properties to a more fluid-like behavior when it comes to migration and force(More)