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Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

Bruno V Rego, Sarah M Wells, Chung-Hao Lee, Michael S Sacks
Little is known about how valvular tissues grow and remodel in response to altered loading. In this work, we used the pregnancy state to represent a non-pathological cardiac volume overload that distends the mitral valve (MV), using both extant and new experimental data and a modified form of our MV structural constitutive model. We determined that there was an initial period of permanent set-like deformation where no remodelling occurs, followed by a remodelling phase that resulted in near-complete restoration of homeostatic tissue-level behaviour...
December 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Dong Wang, Michael W Deem
Migration is a key mechanism for expansion of communities. In spatially heterogeneous environments, rapidly gaining knowledge about the local environment is key to the evolutionary success of a migrating population. For historical human migration, environmental heterogeneity was naturally asymmetric in the north-south (NS) and east-west (EW) directions. We here consider the human migration process in the Americas, modelled as random, asymmetric, modularly correlated environments. Knowledge about the environments determines the fitness of each individual...
December 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Alexander W Justin, Roger A Brooks, Athina E Markaki
Vascularization is essential for living tissue and remains a major challenge in the field of tissue engineering. A lack of a perfusable channel network within a large and densely populated tissue engineered construct leads to necrotic core formation, preventing fabrication of functional tissues and organs. We report a new method for producing a hierarchical, three-dimensional (3D) and perfusable vasculature in a large, cellularized fibrin hydrogel. Bifurcating channels, varying in size from 1 mm to 200-250 ┬Ám, are formed using a novel process in which we convert a 3D printed thermoplastic material into a gelatin network template, by way of an intermediate alginate hydrogel...
December 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Ashwij Mayya, P Praveen, Anuradha Banerjee, R Rajesh
We examine the specific role of the structure of the network of pores in plexiform bone in its fracture behaviour under compression. Computed tomography scan images of the sample pre- and post-compressive failure show the existence of weak planes formed by aligned thin long pores extending through the length. We show that the physics of the fracture process is captured by a two-dimensional random spring network model that reproduces well the macroscopic response and qualitative features of fracture paths obtained experimentally, as well as avalanche statistics seen in recent experiments on porcine bone...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Justyna A Niestrawska, Christian Viertler, Peter Regitnig, Tina U Cohnert, Gerhard Sommer, Gerhard A Holzapfel
Soft biological tissues such as aortic walls can be viewed as fibrous composites assembled by a ground matrix and embedded families of collagen fibres. Changes in the structural components of aortic walls such as the ground matrix and the embedded families of collagen fibres have been shown to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of aortic degeneration. Hence, there is a need to develop a deeper understanding of the microstructure and the related mechanics of aortic walls. In this study, tissue samples from 17 human abdominal aortas (AA) and from 11 abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are systematically analysed and compared with respect to their structural and mechanical differences...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Jinzhou Yuan, Hungtang Ko, David M Raizen, Haim H Bau
Nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans are heavier than water. When submerged in water, they settle to the bottom surface. Observations reveal that the animals do not lie flat on the bottom surface, but remain substantially suspended above the surface through continuous collisions with the surface, while maintaining their swimming gaits. Consequently, the swimming animals follow the bottom surface topography. When the bottom surface is inclined, the animals swim up or down along the incline. As the magnitude of the gravitational force can be easily estimated, this behaviour provides a convenient means to estimate the animal's propulsive thrust...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Lei Zhao, Jin Wang
Recent studies on Caenorhabditis elegans reveal that gene manipulations can extend its lifespan several fold. However, how the genes work together to determine longevity is still an open question. Here we construct a gene regulatory network for worm ageing and quantify its underlying potential and flux landscape. We found ageing and rejuvenation states can emerge as basins of attraction at certain gene expression levels. The system state can switch from one attractor to another driven by the intrinsic or external perturbations through genetics or the environment...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
David M P Jacoby, Yannis P Papastamatiou, Robin Freeman
Analyses of animal social networks have frequently benefited from techniques derived from other disciplines. Recently, machine learning algorithms have been adopted to infer social associations from time-series data gathered using remote, telemetry systems situated at provisioning sites. We adapt and modify existing inference methods to reveal the underlying social structure of wide-ranging marine predators moving through spatial arrays of passive acoustic receivers. From six months of tracking data for grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) at Palmyra atoll in the Pacific Ocean, we demonstrate that some individuals emerge as leaders within the population and that this behavioural coordination is predicted by both sex and the duration of co-occurrences between conspecifics...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Jens Baumgartner, Nicolas Menguy, Teresa Perez Gonzalez, Guillaume Morin, Marc Widdrat, Damien Faivre
Magnetotactic bacteria are aquatic microorganisms that intracellularly mineralize ferrimagnetic nanoparticles enabling the cells to align with the geomagnetic field. The bacteria produce a magnetic mineral of species-specific phase (magnetite Fe(II)Fe(III)2O4 or greigite Fe(II)Fe(III)2S4), size, morphology and particle assembly. Several species produce crystals of unusual elongated particle shapes, which break the symmetry of the thermodynamically favoured isometric morphology. Such morphologies are thought to affect domain size and orientation of the internal magnetization...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Laura E Liao, Shingo Iwami, Catherine A A Beauchemin
A defective interfering particle (DIP) in the context of influenza A virus is a virion with a significantly shortened RNA segment substituting one of eight full-length parent RNA segments, such that it is preferentially amplified. Hence, a cell co-infected with DIPs will produce mainly DIPs, suppressing infectious virus yields and affecting infection kinetics. Unfortunately, the quantification of DIPs contained in a sample is difficult because they are indistinguishable from standard virus (STV). Using a mathematical model, we investigated the standard experimental method for counting DIPs based on the reduction in STV yield (Bellett & Cooper, 1959, Journal of General Microbiology 21, 498-509 (doi:10...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Kenta Ishimoto, Eamonn A Gaffney
The great mammalian sperm race encounters numerous microenvironments to which sperm must adapt and a fundamental sperm response is the change in its waveform owing to both fluid rheology and capacitation, with the latter associated with a hyperactivated beat pattern. Hence, in this modelling study, we examine the effect of different flagellar waveforms for sperm behaviour near adhesive substrates, which are representative of epithelia in female tract sperm reservoirs and the zona pellucida (ZP), which surrounds the mammalian egg...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Claudia Menichini, Zhuo Cheng, Richard G J Gibbs, Xiao Yun Xu
Aortic dissection causes splitting of the aortic wall layers, allowing blood to enter a 'false lumen' (FL). For type B dissection, a significant predictor of patient outcomes is patency or thrombosis of the FL. Yet, no methods are currently available to assess the chances of FL thrombosis. In this study, we present a new computational model that is capable of predicting thrombus formation, growth and its effects on blood flow under physiological conditions. Predictions of thrombus formation and growth are based on fluid shear rate, residence time and platelet distribution, which are evaluated through convection-diffusion-reaction transport equations...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Diepreye Ayabina, Charlotte Hendon-Dunn, Joanna Bacon, Caroline Colijn
Drug resistance to tuberculosis (TB) has become more widespread over the past decade. As such, understanding the emergence and fitness of antibiotic-resistant subpopulations is crucial for the development of new interventions. Here we use a simple mathematical model to explain the differences in the response to isoniazid (INH) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells cultured under two growth rates in a chemostat. We obtain posterior distributions of model parameters consistent with data using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Zena Hadjivasiliou, Ginger L Hunter, Buzz Baum
Tissue organization and patterning are critical during development when genetically identical cells take on different fates. Lateral signalling plays an important role in this process by helping to generate self-organized spatial patterns in an otherwise uniform collection of cells. Recent data suggest that lateral signalling can be mediated both by junctional contacts between neighbouring cells and via cellular protrusions that allow non-neighbouring cells to interact with one another at a distance. However, it remains unclear precisely how signalling mediated by these distinct types of cell-cell contact can physically contribute to the generation of complex patterns without the assistance of diffusible morphogens or pre-patterns...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Francisco J H Heras, Simon B Laughlin, Jeremy E Niven
Capacitance limits the bandwidth of engineered and biological electrical circuits because it determines the gain-bandwidth product (GBWP). With a fixed GBWP, bandwidth can only be improved by decreasing gain. In engineered circuits, an inductance reduces this limitation through shunt peaking but no equivalent mechanism has been reported for biological circuits. We show that in blowfly photoreceptors a voltage-dependent K(+) conductance, the fast delayed rectifier (FDR), produces shunt peaking thereby increasing bandwidth without reducing gain...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Giovanni Pezzulo, Michael Levin
It is widely assumed in developmental biology and bioengineering that optimal understanding and control of complex living systems follows from models of molecular events. The success of reductionism has overshadowed attempts at top-down models and control policies in biological systems. However, other fields, including physics, engineering and neuroscience, have successfully used the explanations and models at higher levels of organization, including least-action principles in physics and control-theoretic models in computational neuroscience...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Maciej A Zwieniecki, Katrine S Haaning, C Kevin Boyce, Kaare H Jensen
Stomata are portals in plant leaves that control gas exchange for photosynthesis, a process fundamental to life on Earth. Gas fluxes and plant productivity depend on external factors such as light, water and CO2 availability and on the geometrical properties of the stoma pores. The link between stoma geometry and environmental factors has informed a wide range of scientific fields-from agriculture to climate science, where observed variations in stoma size and density are used to infer prehistoric atmospheric CO2 content...
November 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
I Ashraf, R Godoy-Diana, J Halloy, B Collignon, B Thiria
In this work, we address the case of red nose tetra fish Hemigrammus bleheri swimming in groups in a uniform flow, giving special attention to the basic interactions and cooperative swimming of a single pair of fish. We first bring evidence of synchronization of the two fish, where the swimming modes are dominated by 'out-phase' and 'in-phase' configurations. We show that the transition to this synchronization state is correlated with the swimming speed (i.e. the flow rate), and thus with the magnitude of the hydrodynamic pressure generated by the fish body during each swimming cycle...
October 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Elaine A Ferguson, Jason Matthiopoulos, Robert H Insall, Dirk Husmeier
Collective cell movement is a key component of many important biological processes, including wound healing, the immune response and the spread of cancers. To understand and influence these movements, we need to be able to identify and quantify the contribution of their different underlying mechanisms. Here, we define a set of six candidate models-formulated as advection-diffusion-reaction partial differential equations-that incorporate a range of cell movement drivers. We fitted these models to movement assay data from two different cell types: Dictyostelium discoideum and human melanoma...
October 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Gustav Waschatko, Nils Billecke, Sascha Schwendy, Henriette Jaurich, Mischa Bonn, Thomas A Vilgis, Sapun H Parekh
Plant oleosomes are uniquely emulsified lipid reservoirs that serve as the primary energy source during seed germination. These oil bodies undergo significant changes regarding their size, composition and structure during normal seedling development; however, a detailed characterization of these oil body dynamics, which critically affect oil body extractability and nutritional value, has remained challenging because of a limited ability to monitor oil body location and composition during germination in situ Here, we demonstrate via in situ, label-free imaging that oil bodies are highly dynamic intracellular organelles that are morphologically and biochemically remodelled extensively during germination...
October 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
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