JMBBM Frontiers Webinar - Unravelling the Secret Language of Extracellular Matrix

Unravelling the Secret Language of Extracellular Matrix - Viola Vogel

Thursday, Oct. 15 9am Boston, 2pm London, 9pm Beijing

Join Via Zoom

ABSTRACT: Tissues display immense heterogeneity whereby distinct cellular organization held together by highly heterogeneous extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironments enable tightly regulated cell and organ functions. At the same time, matrix production, cell proliferation and tissue contraction are also central elements of tissue growth and repair processes, which, if not coordinated sufficiently well, can lead to significant impairment of organ function, or even death of the organism. Enabled by the contractile machinery of cells, ECM assembly and maintenance are thus indispensable for life and orchestrates many outside-in information to cells that go far beyond providing physical support alone. With our newly developed nanoscale mechanosensory probe that differentially binds to relaxed versus stretched fibronectin fibers, we explored the orchestrating role of mechanically tensed extracellular matrix fibers in healthy and diseased organs. Going beyond quantifications of the Youngs moduli is timely and significant, as ECM fibers contain many binding sites for growth factors, cytokines and other ECM molecules. Stretching of ECM fibers might expose some of those binding sites, while destroying others. Novel insights regarding the mechanobiology of ECM at the organ level will be discussed.

About Professor Viola Vogel: group-head.html 

Learn more about the Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials: