The field of mechanobiology emerged from the many evidences that mechanical forces acting on cells have a central role in their development and physiology. Cells, in fact, convert such forces into biochemical activities and gene expression in a process referred as mechanotransduction. In vitro models that mimic cell environment also from the mechanical point of view represent therefore a key tool for modelling cell behaviour and would find many applications, e.g. in drug development and tissue engineering. In this work I introduce novel tools for the study of mechanotransduction. In particular, I present a system for the evaluation of the complex response of electrically active cells, such as neurons and cardiomyocytes. This system integrates atomic force microscopy, extracellular electrophysiological recording, and optical microscopy in order to investigate cell activity in response to mechanical stimuli. I also present cell scaffolds for the in vitro study of cancer. Obtained results, although preliminary, show the potential of the proposed systems and methods to develop accurate in vitro models for mechanobiology studies.
|Titolo della tesi:||Development of experimental setups for the characterization of the mechanoelectrical coupling of cells in vitro|
|Data di discussione:||2-mag-2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|