Vol.3, No.1, 2006-Table of Contents
  • Substrate Modulation of Osteoblast Adhesion Strength, Focal Adhesion Kinase Activation, and Responsiveness to Mechanical Stimuli
  • Abstract Osteoblast interactions with extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are known to influence many cell functions, which may ultimately affect osseointegration of implants with the host bone tissue. Some adhesion-mediated events include activation of focal adhesion kinase, and subsequent changes in the cytoskeleton and cell morphology, which may lead to changes in adhesion strength and cell responsiveness to mechanical stimuli. In this study we examined focal adhesion kinase activation (FAK), F-actin cytoskeleton reorganization, adhesion strength, and osteoblast responsiveness to fluid shear when adhered to type I collagen (ColI), glass, poly-L-lysine (PLL), fibronectin (FN), vitronectin (VN), and serum (FBS). In general, surfaces that… More
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  • Stretching Short DNAs in Electrolytes
  • Abstract This paper is aimed at a combined theoretical and numerical study of the force-extension relation of a short DNA molecule stretched in an electrolyte. A theoretical formula based on a recent discrete wormlike chain (WLC) model of Kierfeld et al. (Eur. Phys. J. E, Vol. 14, pp.17-34, 2004) and the classical OSF mean-field theory on electrostatic stiffening of a charged polymer is numerically verified by a set of Brownian dynamics simulations based on a generalized bead-rod (GBR) model incorporating long-ranged electrostatic interactions via the Debye-Hueckel potential (DH). The analysis indicates that the stretching of a short DNA can be well… More
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  • Regulation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Mechanical Strain
  • Abstract Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) populate in the media of the blood vessel, and play an important role in the control of vasoactivity and the remodeling of the vessel wall. Blood vessels are constantly subjected to hemodynamic stresses, and the pulsatile nature of the blood flow results in a cyclic mechanical strain in the vessel walls. Accumulating evidence in the past two decades indicates that mechanical strain regulates vascular SMC phenotype, function and matrix remodeling. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) is a potential cell source for vascular regeneration therapy, and may be used to generate SMCs to construct tissue-engineered… More
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  • Compressibility of Arterial Wall in Ring-cutting Experiments
  • Abstract It is common practice in the arterial wall modeling to assume material incompressibility. This assumption is driven by the observation of the global volume preservation of the artery specimens in some mechanical loading experiments. The global volume preservation, however, does not necessarily imply the local volume preservation -- incompressibility. In this work, we suggest to use the arterial ring- cutting experiments for the assessment of the local incompressibility assumption. The idea is to track the local stretches of the marked segments of the arterial ring after the stress-relieving cut. In the particular case of the rabbit thoracic artery, considered in… More
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  • A Mathematical Model of Cell Reorientation in Response to Substrate Stretching
  • Abstract It is well documented that in response to substrate stretching adhering cells alter their orientation. Generally, the cells reorient away from the direction of the maximum substrate strain, depending upon the magnitude of the substrate strain and the state of cell contractility. Theoretical models from the literature can describe only some aspects of this phenomenon. In the present study, we developed a more comprehensive mathematical model of cell reorientation than the current models. Using the framework of theory of non-linear elasticity, we found that the problem of cell reorientation was a stability problem, with the global (Maxwell's) criterion for stability.… More
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