skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Grosberg, Anna"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Through a variety of mechanisms, a healthy heart is able to regulate its structure and dynamics across multiple length scales. Disruption of these mechanisms can have a cascading effect, resulting in severe structural and/or functional changes that permeate across different length scales. Due to this hierarchical structure, there is interest in understanding how the components at the various scales coordinate and influence each other. However, much is unknown regarding how myofibril bundles are organized within a densely packed cell and the influence of the subcellular components on the architecture that is formed. To elucidate potential factors influencing cytoskeletal development,more »we proposed a computational model that integrated interactions at both the cellular and subcellular scale to predict the location of individual myofibril bundles that contributed to the formation of an energetically favorable cytoskeletal network. Our model was tested and validated using experimental metrics derived from analyzing single-cell cardiomyocytes. We demonstrated that our model-generated networks were capable of reproducing the variation observed in experimental cells at different length scales as a result of the stochasticity inherent in the different interactions between the various cellular components. Additionally, we showed that incorporating length-scale parameters resulted in physical constraints that directed cytoskeletal architecture toward a structurally consistent motif. Understanding the mechanisms guiding the formation and organization of the cytoskeleton in individual cardiomyocytes can aid tissue engineers toward developing functional cardiac tissue.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. The heart has a dynamic mechanical environment contributed by its unique cellular composition and the resultant complex tissue structure. In pathological heart tissue, both the mechanics and cell composition can change and influence each other. As a result, the interplay between the cell phenotype and mechanical stimulation needs to be considered to understand the biophysical cell interactions and organization in healthy and diseased myocardium. In this work, we hypothesized that the overall tissue organization is controlled by varying densities of cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts in the heart. In order to test this hypothesis, we utilized a combination of mechanical strain, co-culturesmore »of different cell types, and inhibitory drugs that block intercellular junction formation. To accomplish this, an image analysis pipeline was developed to automatically measure cell type-specific organization relative to the stretch direction. The results indicated that cardiac cell type-specific densities influence the overall organization of heart tissue such that it is possible to model healthy and fibrotic heart tissue in vitro. This study provides insight into how to mimic the dynamic mechanical environment of the heart in engineered tissue as well as providing valuable information about the process of cardiac remodeling and repair in diseased hearts.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  3. Abstract

    Genetic mutations to the Lamin A/C gene (LMNA) can cause heart disease, but the mechanisms making cardiac tissues uniquely vulnerable to the mutations remain largely unknown. Further, patients withLMNAmutations have highly variable presentation of heart disease progression and type.In vitropatient-specific experiments could provide a powerful platform for studying this phenomenon, but the use of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM) introduces heterogeneity in maturity and function thus complicating the interpretation of the results of any single experiment. We hypothesized that integrating single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) with analysis of the tissue architecture and contractile function would elucidate some ofmore »the probable mechanisms. To test this, we investigated five iPSC-CM lines, three controls and two patients with a (c.357-2A>G) mutation. The patient iPSC-CM tissues had significantly weaker stress generation potential than control iPSC-CM tissues demonstrating the viability of ourin vitroapproach. Through scRNA-seq, differentially expressed genes between control and patient lines were identified. Some of these genes, linked to quantitative structural and functional changes, were cardiac specific, explaining the targeted nature of the disease progression seen in patients. The results of this work demonstrate the utility of combiningin vitrotools in exploring heart disease mechanics.

    « less
  4. Understanding force propagation through the fibrous extracellular matrix can elucidate how cells interact mechanically with their surrounding tissue. Presumably, due to elastic nonlinearities of the constituent filaments and their random connection topology, force propagation in fiber networks is quite complex, and the basic problem of force propagation in structurally heterogeneous networks remains unsolved. We report on a new technique to detect displacements through such networks in response to a localized force, using a fibrin hydrogel as an example. By studying the displacements of fibers surrounding a two-micron bead that is driven sinusoidally by optical tweezers, we develop maps of displacementsmore »in the network. Fiber movement is measured by fluorescence intensity fluctuations recorded by a laser scanning confocal microscope. We find that the Fourier magnitude of these intensity fluctuations at the drive frequency identifies fibers that are mechanically coupled to the driven bead. By examining the phase relation between the drive and the displacements, we show that the fiber displacements are, indeed, due to elastic couplings within the network. Both the Fourier magnitude and phase depend on the direction of the drive force, such that displacements typically propagate farther, but not exclusively, along the drive direction. This technique may be used to characterize the local mechanical response in 3-D tissue cultures, and to address fundamental questions about force propagation within fiber networks.« less
  5. The ability to adequately pump blood throughout the body is the result of tightly regulated feedback mechanisms that exist across many spatial scales in the heart. Diseases which impede the function at any one of the spatial scales can cause detrimental cardiac remodeling and eventual heart failure. An overarching goal of cardiac research is to use engineered heart tissue in vitro to study the physiology of diseased heart tissue, develop cell replacement therapies, and explore drug testing applications. A commonality within the field is to manipulate the flow of mechanical signals across the various spatial scales to direct self-organization andmore »build functional tissue. Doing so requires an understanding of how chemical, electrical, and mechanical cues can be used to alter the cellular microenvironment. We discuss how mathematical models have been used in conjunction with experimental techniques to explore various structure–function relations that exist across numerous spatial scales. We highlight how a systems biology approach can be employed to recapitulate in vivo characteristics in vitro at the tissue, cell, and subcellular scales. Specific focus is placed on the interplay between experimental and theoretical approaches. Various modeling methods are showcased to demonstrate the breadth and power afforded to the systems biology approach. An overview of modeling methodologies exemplifies how the strengths of different scientific disciplines can be used to supplement and/or inspire new avenues of experimental exploration. This article is categorized under: Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Mechanistic Models Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Cellular Models Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Organ, Tissue, and Physiological Models KEYWORDS cardiac modeling, deterministic models, model validation« less