376-1392-00L  Mechanobiology: Implications for Development, Regeneration and Tissue Engineering

SemesterSpring Semester 2019
LecturersA. Ferrari, K. Würtz-Kozak, M. Zenobi-Wong
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course will emphasize the importance of mechanobiology to cell determination and behavior. Its importance to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering will also be addressed. Finally, this course will discuss how age and disease adversely alter major mechanosensitive developmental programs.
ObjectiveThis course is designed to illuminate the importance of mechanobiological processes to life as well as to teach good experimental strategies to investigate mechanobiological phenomena.
ContentTypically, cell differentiation is studied under static conditions (cells grown on rigid plastic tissue culture dishes in two-dimensions), an experimental approach that, while simplifying the requirements considerably, is short-sighted in scope. It is becoming increasingly apparent that many tissues modulate their developmental programs to specifically match the mechanical stresses that they will encounter in later life. Examples of known mechanosensitive developmental programs include osteogenesis (bones), chondrogenesis (cartilage), and tendogenesis (tendons). Furthermore, general forms of cell behavior such as migration, extracellular matrix deposition, and complex tissue differentiation are also regulated by mechanical stimuli. Mechanically-regulated cellular processes are thus ubiquitous, ongoing and of great clinical importance.

The overall importance of mechanobiology to humankind is illustrated by the fact that nearly 80% of our entire body mass arises from tissues originating from mechanosensitive developmental programs, principally bones and muscles. Unfortunately, our ability to regenerate mechanosensitive tissue diminishes in later life. As it is estimated that the fraction of the western world population over 65 years of age will double in the next 25 years, an urgency in the global biomedical arena exists to better understand how to optimize complex tissue development under physiologically-relevant mechanical environments for purposes of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
Lecture notesn/a
LiteratureTopical Scientific Manuscripts