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Tutorial SB06—Molecules and Materials in Mechanobiology

Dec 1, 2019
01:30 PM - 05:00 PM
Hynes, Level 2, Room 201

This tutorial aims at reviewing the fundamentals and applications of mechanobiology in the context of materials science. A comprehensive overview from the cellular principles to biomaterials will be given.

Recent developments in Materials Science and Biology have made it possible to investigate cell-matrix interactions in relation to mechanics. Therefore, the tutorial "Materials in Mechanobiology" presents the principles of mechanobiology in relation to materials science. The course includes an introduction into mechanobiology (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm), followed by a discussion of biofunctionalized materials that are relevant for controlling cells by environmental cues (3:30 pm –5:00 pm).

The objective of the tutorial is to introduce materials scientists into this highly interdisciplinary, lively field of research.

1:30 pm
Molecules of Mechanotransduction

Medha M. Pathak, University of California, Irvine

The first half of the tutorial will review the most recent progress on mechanobiology. A particular focus will be on mechanotransduction, the process by which mechanical cues from the extracellular environment are transduced into biochemical signals, which in turn control physiological processes. The methods that allow cells to actively probe their environment, that is, intracellular forces, will also be explained. Central to mechanisms of force sensing and transduction are mechanically activated ion channels. The tutorial will provide an in-depth introduction to these molecules and their interaction with the cytoskeleton. Overall, this part of the tutorial will give a comprehensive introduction into the biological background that needs to be considered when designing materials for mechanobiology. 

3:00 pm BREAK

3:30 pm
Strategies to Control Cellular Environmental Cues One at a Time or Combined Together

Virgile Viasnoff, National University of Singapore and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

The second half of the tutorial will cover biofunctionalized materials for investigating how cells respond to environmental cues. Such materials can have different features, ranging from specific matrix materials, specific geometry, to topography. These materials have high potential for controlling cells in a variety of applications, including tissue engineering. Therefore this tutorial will discuss methods to generate biofunctionalized materials that have well-defined ligand patterns, specific rheological properties, and well-controlled topography at the micro- and nanoscale. A highly, timely aspect will be the presentation of methods to dynamically control such material properties over space and time.