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Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Biophysical Features Of The Extracellular Matrix Direct Breast Cancer Metastasis, Alyssa Schwartz Jan 2018

Biophysical Features Of The Extracellular Matrix Direct Breast Cancer Metastasis, Alyssa Schwartz

Doctoral Dissertations

Breast cancer is plagued by two key clinical challenges; drug resistance and metastasis. Most work to date probes these events on an extremely rigid plastic surface, which recapitulates few aspects of these processes in humans. A malignant cell first resides in breast tissue, then likely travels to the bone, brain, liver, or lung, each of which has a distinct mechanical and biochemical profile. Cells transmit mechanical forces into intracellular tension and biochemical signaling events, and here we hypothesize that this mechanotransduction influences drug response, growth, and migration.

To probe the impact of extracellular matrix on drug resistance, we defined a ...


Promoting Extracellular Matrix Crosslinking In Synthetic Hydrogels, Marcos M. Manganare Jan 2015

Promoting Extracellular Matrix Crosslinking In Synthetic Hydrogels, Marcos M. Manganare

Masters Theses

The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides mechanical and biochemical support to tissues and cells. It is crucial for cell attachment, differentiation, and migration, as well as for ailment-associated processes such as angiogenesis, metastases and cancer development. An approach to study these phenomena is through emulation of the ECM by synthetic gels constructed of natural polymers, such as collagen and fibronectin, or simple but tunable materials such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) crosslinked with short peptide sequences susceptible to digestion by metalloproteases and cell-binding domains. Our lab uses PEG gels to study cell behavior in three dimensions (3D). Although this system fosters ...


Mimicking The Arterial Microenvironment With Peg-Pc To Investigate The Roles Of Physicochemical Stimuli In Smc Phenotype And Behavior, William G. Herrick Jan 2015

Mimicking The Arterial Microenvironment With Peg-Pc To Investigate The Roles Of Physicochemical Stimuli In Smc Phenotype And Behavior, William G. Herrick

Doctoral Dissertations

The goal of this dissertation was to parse the roles of physical, mechanical and chemical cues in the phenotype plasticity of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in atherosclerosis. We first developed and characterized a novel synthetic hydrogel with desirable traits for studying mechanotransduction in vitro. This hydrogel, PEG-PC, is a co-polymer of poly(ethylene glycol) and phosphorylcholine with an incredible range of Young’s moduli (~1 kPa - 9 MPa) that enables reproduction of nearly any tissue stiffness, exceptional optical and anti-fouling properties, and support for covalent attachment of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. To our knowledge, this combination of mechanical range, low ...


Metabolic Modeling Of Secondary Metabolism In Plant Systems, Lisa M. Leone Jan 2014

Metabolic Modeling Of Secondary Metabolism In Plant Systems, Lisa M. Leone

Masters Theses

In the first part of this research, we constructed a Genome scale Metabolic Model (GEM) of Taxus cuspidata, a medicinal plant used to produce paclitaxel (Taxol®). The construction of the T. cuspidata GEM was predicated on recent acquisition of a transcriptome of T. cuspidata metabolism under methyl jasmonate (MJ) elicited conditions (when paclitaxel is produced) and unelicited conditions (when paclitaxel is not produced). Construction of the draft model, in which transcriptomic data from elicited and unelicited conditions were included, utilized tools including the ModelSEED developed by Argonne National Laboratory. Although a model was successfully created and gapfilled by ModelSEED using ...