Realistic reproduction of a cell's dynamic physical environment
Novel system comprised of a Bio-matrix Stretcher and Dynamic Traction Microscopy
The physical environment of a living cell acutely affects its ability to proliferate, differentiate and remodel. Living cells specify lineage and express different phenotypic and physical states in respond to stretching forces. In particular, for cells that are found in heart, lung, muscle and gut, dynamic stretching is a potent biological stimulus. It has never been possible, however, to reproduce such mechanical microenvironment in a tissue culture system.
The present invention is ready for automation and scale-up for high-throughput applications in cell cultures, stem cell therapy, drug discovery and traction microscopy.
Innovations and Advantages
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have developed a novel system to realistically reproduce a cell's dynamic physical environment. The system consists of two components: (1) Bio-matrix stretcher (BMS): a ring-shaped punch-indentation system that can impose a uniform, uniaxial or biaxial, transient, tensile or compressive cell strain upon cells plated on tunable elastic substrates with tissue-like stiffness; and (2) Dynamic Traction Microscopy (DTM): a device for quantifying changes of cell-contractile forces in response to a stretch. Together, our system allows one to reproduce the mechanical microenvironments of various cell types, hence allowing scientists to study cell cultures in a physiological relevant manner.
Intellectual Property Status: Patent pending
Krishnan R, Park CY, Lin Y-C, Mead J, Jaspers RT, et al. (2009) Reinforcement versus Fluidization in Cytoskeletal Mechanoresponsiveness. PLoS ONE 4(5): e5486. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005486
Mih, Justin D.
Park, Chan Young
Tschumperlin, Daniel J.
For further information, please contact:
Debra Peattie, Director of Business Development
Reference Harvard Case #2983