Cellular mechanotransduction: Big impact of little things


Every cell in our body is surrounded by a rich three dimensional extracellular matrix laden with a multitude of physico-chemical stimuli that dictate cell fate. Yet the most common method used for mechanistic investigations in cell culture are done one plastic or glass surfaces which lack the organization, composition, and mechanical properties of the scaffolding matrix. The biophysical stimuli encountered by cells in the eye vary with location: from surface tension and shear at the tear film interface to pressure gradient in the trabecular meshwork to compressive forces at the retina and electrical signals in the neural retina. Research from our group focuses on characterizing these fundamental properties during corneal wound repair and glaucoma, designing engineering tools to replicate the native environment for mechanistic studies. Outcomes learned will aid in the identification of novel molecular drug targets, and in the development of technologies for efficient drug-delivery and regeneration.



Novel molecular drug targets, corneal wound repair, glaucoma, mechanistic studies, Cellular mechanotransduction