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  • Open Access


    Hypertrophic Gene Expression Induced by Chronic Stretch of Excised Mouse Heart Muscle

    Anna M. Raskin∗,†, Masahiko Hoshijima, Eric Swanson, Andrew D. McCulloch*, Jeffrey H. Omens∗,†,‡

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.3, pp. 145-160, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.145

    Abstract Altered mechanical stress and strain in cardiac myocytes induce modifications in gene expression that affects cardiac remodeling and myocyte contractile function. To study the mechanisms of mechanotransduction in cardiomyocytes, probing alterations in mechanics and gene expression has been an effective strategy. However, previous studies are self-limited due to the general use of isolated neonatal rodent myocytes or intact animals. The main goal of this study was to develop a novel tissue culture chamber system for mouse myocardium that facilitates loading of cardiac tissue, while measuring tissue stress and deformation within a physiological environment. Intact mouse right ventricular papillary muscles were… More >

  • Open Access


    Characterization of the Chondrocyte Actin Cytoskeleton in Living Three-Dimensional Culture: Response to Anabolic and Catabolic Stimuli

    Dominik R. Haudenschild∗,†, Jianfen Chen∗,†, Nikolai Steklov, Martin K. Lotz*, Darryl D. D’Lima∗,‡

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.3, pp. 135-144, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.135

    Abstract The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic network required for intracellular transport, signal transduction, movement, attachment to the extracellular matrix, cellular stiffness and cell shape. Cell shape and the actin cytoskeletal configuration are linked to chondrocyte phenotype with regard to gene expression and matrix synthesis. Historically, the chondrocyte actin cytoskeleton has been studied after formaldehyde fixation - precluding real-time measurements of actin dynamics, or in monolayer cultured cells. Here we characterize the actin cytoskeleton of living low-passage human chondrocytes grown in three-dimensional culture using a stably expressed actin-GFP construct. GFP-actin expression does not substantially alter the production of endogenous actin at… More >

  • Open Access


    Patient-Specific Artery Shrinkage and 3D Zero-Stress State in Multi-Component 3D FSI Models for Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques Based on In Vivo MRI Data

    Xueying Huang*, Chun Yang, Chun Yuan, Fei Liu, Gador Canton, Jie Zheng§, Pamela K. Woodard§, Gregorio A. Sicard, Dalin Tang||

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 121-134, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.121

    Abstract Image-based computational models for atherosclerotic plaques have been developed to perform mechanical analysis to quantify critical flow and stress/strain conditions related to plaque rupture which often leads directly to heart attack or stroke. An important modeling issue is how to determine zero stress state from in vivo plaque geometries. This paper presents a method to quantify human carotid artery axial and inner circumferential shrinkages by using patient-specific ex vivo and in vivo MRI images. A shrink-stretch process based on patient-specific in vivo plaque morphology and shrinkage data was introduced to shrink the in vivo geometry first to find the zero-stress… More >

  • Open Access


    Aging-Related Differences in Chondrocyte Viscoelastic Properties

    Nikolai Steklov*, Ajay Srivastava*, K.L.P. Sung, Peter C. Chen, Martin K. Lotz*, Darryl D. D’Lima

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 113-119, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.113

    Abstract The biomechanical properties of articular cartilage change profoundly with aging. These changes have been linked with increased potential for cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. However, less is known about the change in biomechanical properties of chondrocytes with increasing age. Cell stiffness can affect mechanotransduction pathways and may alter cell function. We measured aging-related changes in the biomechanical properties of chondrocytes. Human chondrocytes were isolated from knee articular cartilage within 48 hours after death or from osteochondral specimens obtained from knee arthroplasty. Cells were divided into two age groups: between 18 and 35 years (18 -- 35); and greater than 55 years… More >

  • Open Access


    A Theoretical Model for Simulating Effect of Parathyroid Hormone on Bone Metabolism at Cellular Level

    Yanan Wang, Qing-Hua Qin, Shankar Kalyanasundaram

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 101-112, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.101

    Abstract A mathematical model is developed for simulating anabolic behaviour of bone affected by Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) in this paper. The model incorporates a new understanding on the interaction of PTH and other factors with the RANK-RANKL-OPG pathway into bone remodelling, which is able to simulate anabolic actions of bone induced by PTH at cellular level. The RANK-RANKL-OPG pathway together with the dual action of TGF-$\beta$, which represent the core of coupling behaviour between osteoblasts and osteoclasts which are two cell types specialising in the maintenance of bone integrity, are widely considered essential for the regulation of bone remodelling at cellular… More >

  • Open Access


    The Mechanical Buckling of Curved Arteries*

    Hai-Chao Han

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 93-100, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.093

    Abstract Though tortuosity and kinking are often observed in various arteries and arterioles, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. This paper presents a biomechanical analysis of bent buckling in long arterial segments with a small initial curvature using a thick-walled elastic cylindrical arterial model. The critical buckling pressure was established as a function of wall stiffness, wall dimensions, and the axial tension (or axial stretch ratio). The effects of both wall dimensions and axial stretch ratio on the critical pressure, as well as the thin-walled approximation were discussed. The buckling equation sheds light on the biomechanical mechanism of artery tortuosity… More >

  • Open Access


    Effect of Dextran 500 on Radial Migration of Erythrocytes in Postcapillary Venules at Low Flow Rates

    Sangho Kim∗,†, Peng Kai Ong*, Paul C. Johnson

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 83-92, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.083

    Abstract Recently, we reported that collision efficiency (fraction of total collisions that result in the formation of aggregates) between red blood cells was an important factor in the formation of aggregates in postcapillary venules. In the present study, we focus on how high molecular weight dextran influences the overall radial migration trend of red blood cells in the postcapillary venule along a longitudinal distance of 50 μm from the bifurcation which would in turn affect collision behavior of these cells. A radial migration index, which defines the extent of radial migration of individual cells relative to the vessel center, was found… More >

  • Open Access


    Specific Expression of E--Tmod (Tmod1) in Horizontal Cells: Implications in Neuronal Cell Mechanics and Glaucomatous Retina

    Weijuan Yao*, Lanping Amy Sung

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.1, pp. 71-82, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.071

    Abstract Erythrocyte tropomodulin (E-Tmod) is a tropomyosin-binding and actin capping protein at the point end of the filaments. It is part of a molecular ruler that plays an important role in generating short actin protofilaments critical for the integrity of the cell membrane. Here, with the use of \textit {E-Tmod+/lacZ} mice, we demonstrated a specific E-Tmod expression in horizontal cells (HCs) in the retina, and analyzed the stress-strain relationship of HCs, vertically oriented neurons, and retinal ganglial cells (RGC) under normal and high intraocular pressure (IOP). Since their dendrites are oriented laterally in a plane and form most complicated synapses with… More >

  • Open Access


    Pathophysiology of Glaucoma and Continuous Measurements of Intraocular Pressure

    Arthur J. Sit*, John H.K. Liu

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.1, pp. 57-70, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.057

    Abstract Glaucoma is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. The main risk factor for glaucoma is an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), which is also the only currently treatable risk factor. Despite its importance, our understanding of IOP is incomplete and our ability to measure IOP is limited. IOP is known to undergo both random fluctuations as well as variations following a circadian pattern. In humans, IOP is highest at night and lower during the daytime, largely due to changes in body position, although other factors appear to contribute. In rabbits, IOP is also highest at night and lower… More >

  • Open Access


    Creation of Functional Micro/Nano Systems through Top-down and Bottom-up Approaches

    Tak-Sing Wong*, Branden Brough, Chih-Ming Ho∗,‡

    Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol.6, No.1, pp. 1-56, 2009, DOI:10.3970/mcb.2009.006.001

    Abstract Mimicking nature's approach in creating devices with similar functional complexity is one of the ultimate goals of scientists and engineers. The remarkable elegance of these naturally evolved structures originates from bottom-up self-assembly processes. The seamless integration of top-down fabrication and bottom-up synthesis is the challenge for achieving intricate artificial systems. In this paper, technologies necessary for guided bottom-up assembly such as molecular manipulation, molecular binding, and the self assembling of molecules will be reviewed. In addition, the current progress of synthesizing mechanical devices through top-down and bottom-up approaches will be discussed. More >

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