This proposal describes a five-year training and research plan to broaden the Pi's electrical engineering background and help her gain experience in cardiac cell biology. To achieve this, the PI (Clemson University) will work closely with her mentors, Dr. Naren Vyavahare at Clemson University and Dr. Thomas Borg and Dr. Edie Goldsmith, at the University of South Carolina. The training plan includes 1) coursework in cell biology and biochemistry, 2) hands-on experimental technique training in cardiac cell culture and molecular biology assays, and 3) professional development activities through workshops and networking opportunities. The goal of this training to is allow the PI to gain the skills necessary to apply for independent NIH funding (e.g., R01) and to allow her to become a well-balanced biomedical engineering researcher. To complement the training, the PI proposes a research plan aimed at combining her engineering expertise with the cardiac cell biology techniques in which she will train. The complex interplay of cell function and mechanical stresses is important for many physiological and pathological processes, such as defects and diseases in mechanically active tissues like the heart. A solid understanding of this relationship would enable better design of in vitro constructs that could be used for tissue-engineered treatment of mechanically active tissues. Presently, the nature of these interactions is not fully understood, largely due to limitations in traditional single-cell mechanical measurement techniques. The proposed researchfocuses on understanding cardiac-cell mechanics and interactions as a function of the microenvironment. First, the mechanical properties of cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts as a function of the extracellular matrix will be assessed using atomic force microscopy. Then, the effect of cardiomyocyte-fibroblast interactions on cellular mechanics will be determined. Finally, structure-based cell-mechanics models will be built that will enable the use of data from imaging techniques to predict cardiac-cell mechanical properties. The long-term goal of this proposal is to better understand the mechanical coupling of cardiac cells. This understanding is critical for building effective micro- to macroscale models of cardiac tissue function, which is the key for developing in vivo repair strategies based on regenerative medicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-R (O1))
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Carlson, Drew E
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Clemson University
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Datko Williams, Laura; Farley, Amanda; Cupelli, Matthew et al. (2018) Effects of substrate stiffness on dental pulp stromal cells in culture. J Biomed Mater Res A 106:1789-1797
Chen, Ruikai; Dean, Delphine (2017) Mechanical properties of stem cells from different sources during vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation. Mol Cell Biomech 14:153-169
Gainey Wilson, Kayla; Ovington, Patrick; Dean, Delphine (2015) A Low-Cost Inkjet-Printed Glucose Test Strip System for Resource-Poor Settings. J Diabetes Sci Technol 9:1275-81
Wood, Scott T; Dean, Brian C; Dean, Delphine (2013) A linear programming approach to reconstructing subcellular structures from confocal images for automated generation of representative 3D cellular models. Med Image Anal 17:337-47
Lindburg, Carl Alexander; Willey, Jeffrey S; Dean, Delphine (2013) Effects of low dose X-ray irradiation on porcine articular cartilage explants. J Orthop Res 31:1780-5
Wood, Scott T; Dean, Brian C; Dean, Delphine (2013) A computational approach to understand phenotypic structure and constitutive mechanics relationships of single cells. Ann Biomed Eng 41:630-44
Von White 2nd, Gregory; Kerscher, Petra; Brown, Ryan M et al. (2012) Green Synthesis of Robust, Biocompatible Silver Nanoparticles Using Garlic Extract. J Nanomater 2012:
Owczarczak, Alexander B; Shuford, Stephen O; Wood, Scott T et al. (2012) Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer. J Vis Exp :
Deitch, Sandra; Gao, Bruce Z; Dean, Delphine (2012) Effect of matrix on cardiomyocyte viscoelastic properties in 2D culture. Mol Cell Biomech 9:227-49
Zimmerman, Bonnie; Chow, James; Abbott, Albert G et al. (2011) Variation of Surface Charge along the Surface of Wool Fibers Assessed by High-Resolution Force Spectroscopy. J Eng Fiber Fabr 6:61-66

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