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Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Thursday, May 9, 2019
11:00am to 12:00pm
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Gates-Thomas 135
Extracellular Matrix Viscoelasticity and its Impact on Cells
Ovijit Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University,

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex assembly of structural proteins that provides physical support and biochemical signaling to cells in tissues. Over the last two decades, studies have revealed the important role that ECM elasticity plays in regulating a variety of biological processes in cells, including stem cell differentiation and cancer progression. However, tissues and ECM are often viscoelastic, displaying stress relaxation over time in response to a deformation. My group has been focused on elucidating the impact of ECM viscoelasticity on cells. Our approach involves the use engineered biomaterials for 3D culture, in which the mechanical properties can be independently modulated. In this talk, I will discuss our recent findings on how chondrocytes and stem cells sense ECM viscoelasticity, how cancer cells generate force to divide in growing tumors, and on mechanical regulation of breast cancer invasion.

For more information, please contact Carolina Oseguera by phone at 626-395-4271 or by email at susta@caltech.edu.