skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Notbohm, Jacob"

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 Soft bioinspired fiber networks offer great potential in biomedical engineering and material design due to their adjustable mechanical behaviors. However, existing strategies to integrate modeling and manufacturing of bioinspired networks do not consider the intrinsic microstructural disorder of biopolymer networks, which limits the ability to tune their mechanical properties. To fill in this gap, we developed a method to generate computer models of aperiodic fiber networks mimicking type I collagen ready to be submitted for additive manufacturing. The models of fiber networks were created in a scripting language wherein key geometric features like connectivity, fiber length, and fiber cross section could be easily tuned to achieve desired mechanical behavior, namely, pretension-induced shear stiffening. The stiffening was first predicted using finite element software, and then a representative network was fabricated using a commercial 3D printer based on digital light processing technology using a soft resin. The stiffening response of the fabricated network was verified experimentally on a novel test device capable of testing the shear stiffness of the specimen under varying levels of uniaxial pretension. The resulting data demonstrated clear pretension-induced stiffening in shear in the fabricated network, with uniaxial pretension of 40% resulting in a factor of 2.65 increasemore »in the small strain shear stiffness. The strategy described in this article addresses current challenges in modeling bioinspired fiber networks and can be readily integrated with advances in fabrication technology to fabricate materials truly replicating the mechanical response of biopolymer networks.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Fiber networks are the primary structural components of many biological structures, including the cell cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. These materials exhibit global nonlinearities, such as stiffening in extension and shear, during which the fibers bend and align with the direction of applied loading. Precise details of deformations at the scale of the fibers during strain stiffening are still lacking, however, as prior work has studied fiber alignment primarily from a qualitative perspective, which leaves incomplete the understanding of how the local microstructural evolution leads to the global mechanical behavior. To fill this gap, we studied how axial forces are transmitted inside the fiber network along paths called force chains, which continuously evolve during the course of deformation. We performed numerical simulations on two-dimensional networks of random fibers under uniaxial extension and shear, modeling the fibers using beam elements in finite element software. To quantify the force chains, we identified all chains of connected fibers for which the axial force was larger than a preset threshold and computed the total length of all such chains. To study the evolution of force chains during loading, we computed the derivative of the total length of all force chains with respect tomore »the applied engineering strain. Results showed that the highest rate of evolution of force chains coincided with the global critical strain for strain stiffening of the fiber network. Therefore, force chains are an important factor connecting understanding of the local kinematics and force transmission to the macroscale stiffness of the fiber network.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  4. We investigated an in vitro model for mesothelial clearance, wherein ovarian cancer cells invade into a layer of mesothelial cells, resulting in mesothelial retraction combined with cancer cell disaggregation and spreading. Prior to the addition of tumor cells, the mesothelial cells had an elongated morphology, causing them to align with their neighbors into well-ordered domains. Flaws in this alignment, which occur at topological defects, have been associated with altered cell density, motion, and forces. Here we identified topological defects in the mesothelial layer, and showed how they affected local cell density by producing a net flow of cells inward or outward, depending on defect type. At locations of net inward flow, mesothelial clearance was impeded. Hence, the collective behavior of the mesothelial cells, as governed by the topological defects, affected tumor cell clearance and spreading. Importantly, our findings were consistent across multiple ovarian cancer cell types, suggesting a new physical mechanism that could impact ovarian cancer metastasis.
  5. Through mechanical forces, biological cells remodel the surrounding collagen network, generating striking deformation patterns. Tethers—tracts of high densification and fibre alignment—form between cells, thinner bands emanate from cell clusters. While tethers facilitate cell migration and communication, how they form is unclear. Combining modelling, simulation and experiment, we show that tether formation is a densification phase transition of the extracellular matrix, caused by buckling instability of network fibres under cell-induced compression, featuring unexpected similarities with martensitic microstructures. Multiscale averaging yields a two-phase, bistable continuum energy landscape for fibrous collagen, with a densified/aligned second phase. Simulations predict strain discontinuities between the undensified and densified phase, which localizes within tethers as experimentally observed. In our experiments, active particles induce similar localized patterns as cells. This shows how cells exploit an instability to mechanically remodel the extracellular matrix simply by contracting, thereby facilitating mechanosensing, invasion and metastasis.
  6. Cells sense mechanical signals within the extracellular matrix, the most familiar being stiffness, but matrix stiffness cannot be simply described by a single value. Randomness in matrix structure causes stiffness at the scale of a cell to vary by more than an order of magnitude. Additionally, the extracellular matrix contains ducts, blood vessels, and, in cancer or fibrosis, regions with abnormally high stiffness. These different features could alter the stiffness sensed by a cell, but it is unclear whether the change in stiffness is large enough to overcome the noise caused by heterogeneity due to the random fibrous structure. Here we used a combination of experiments and modeling to determine the extent to which matrix heterogeneity disrupts the potential for cell sensing of a locally stiff feature in the matrix. Results showed that, at the scale of a single cell, spatial heterogeneity in local stiffness was larger than the increase in stiffness due to a stiff feature. The heterogeneity was reduced only for large length scales compared to the fiber length. Experiments verified this conclusion, showing spheroids of cells, which were large compared to the average fiber length, spreading preferentially toward stiff inclusions. Hence, the propagation of mechanical cues throughmore »the matrix depends on length scale, with single cells being able to sense only the stiffness of the nearby fibers and multicellular structures, such as tumors, also sensing the stiffness of distant matrix features.« less
  7. Abstract

    Cells move in collective groups in biological processes such as wound healing, morphogenesis, and cancer metastasis. How active cell forces produce the motion in collective cell migration is still unclear. Many theoretical models have been introduced to elucidate the relationship between the cell’s active forces and different observations about the collective motion such as collective swirls, oscillations, and rearrangements. Though many models share the common feature of balancing forces in the cell layer, the specific relationships between force and motion vary among the different models, which can lead to different conclusions. Simultaneous experimental measurements of force and motion can aid in testing assumptions and predictions of the theoretical models. Here, we provide time-lapse images of cells in 1 mm circular islands, which are used to compute cell velocities, cell-substrate tractions, and monolayer stresses. Additional data are included from experiments that perturbed cell number density and actomyosin contractility. We expect this data set to be useful to researchers interested in force and motion in collective cell migration.