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Interface Focus

Till Bretschneider, Hans G Othmer, Cornelis J Weijer
Movement of cells and tissues is a basic biological process that is used in development, wound repair, the immune response to bacterial invasion, tumour formation and metastasis, and the search for food and mates. While some cell movement is random, directed movement stimulated by extracellular signals is our focus here. This involves a sequence of steps in which cells first detect extracellular chemical and/or mechanical signals via membrane receptors that activate signal transduction cascades and produce intracellular signals...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
John A Fozard, Malcolm J Bennett, John R King, Oliver E Jensen
We describe a method for the simulation of the growth of elongated plant organs, such as seedling roots. By combining a midline representation of the organ on a tissue scale and a vertex-based representation on the cell scale, we obtain a multiscale method, which is able to both simulate organ growth and incorporate cell-scale processes. Equations for the evolution of the midline are obtained, which depend on the cell-wall properties of individual cells through appropriate averages over the vertex-based representation...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Clément Roux, Alain Duperray, Valérie M Laurent, Richard Michel, Valentina Peschetola, Claude Verdier, Jocelyn Étienne
When crawling on a flat substrate, living cells exert forces on it via adhesive contacts, enabling them to build up tension within their cytoskeleton and to change shape. The measurement of these forces has been made possible by traction force microscopy (TFM), a technique which has allowed us to obtain time-resolved traction force maps during cell migration. This cell 'footprint' is, however, not sufficient to understand the details of the mechanics of migration, that is how cytoskeletal elements (respectively, adhesion complexes) are put under tension and reinforce or deform (respectively, mature and/or unbind) as a result...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Jie Zhu, Alex Mogilner
Cell migration on a two-dimensional flat surface has been extensively studied and is generally characterized by a front-protrusion-rear-contraction process. In a three-dimensional (3D) environment, on the other hand, cells adopt multiple migration strategies depending on the cell type and the properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM). By using computer simulations, we find that these migration strategies can be classified by various spatial-temporal dynamics of actin protrusion, actin-myosin contraction and actin-ECM adhesion...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Ahmed Boujelben, Michael Watson, Steven McDougall, Yi-Fen Yen, Elizabeth R Gerstner, Ciprian Catana, Thomas Deisboeck, Tracy T Batchelor, David Boas, Bruce Rosen, Jayashree Kalpathy-Cramer, Mark A J Chaplain
Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, have a poor prognosis, with a median overall survival of less than 15 months. Vasculature within these tumours is typically abnormal, with increased tortuosity, dilation and disorganization, and they typically exhibit a disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB). Although it has been hypothesized that the 'normalization' of the vasculature resulting from anti-angiogenic therapies could improve drug delivery through improved blood flow, there is also evidence that suggests that the restoration of BBB integrity might limit the delivery of therapeutic agents and hence their effectiveness...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Daphne Weihs, Amit Gefen, Fred J Vermolen
Traumatic and chronic wounds are a considerable medical challenge that affects many populations and their treatment is a monetary and time-consuming burden in an ageing society to the medical systems. Because wounds are very common and their treatment is so costly, approaches to reveal the responses of a specific wound type to different medical procedures and treatments could accelerate healing and reduce patient suffering. The effects of treatments can be forecast using mathematical modelling that has the predictive power to quantify the effects of induced changes to the wound-healing process...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
W Marth, A Voigt
We consider a generic model for cell motility. Even if a comprehensive understanding of cell motility remains elusive, progress has been achieved in its modelling using a whole-cell physical model. The model takes into account the main mechanisms of cell motility, actin polymerization, actin-myosin dynamics and substrate mediated adhesion (if applicable), and combines them with steric cell-cell and hydrodynamic interactions. The model predicts the onset of collective cell migration, which emerges spontaneously as a result of inelastic collisions of neighbouring cells...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
J A Mackenzie, M Nolan, R H Insall
Chemoattractant gradients are usually considered in terms of sources and sinks that are independent of the chemotactic cell. However, recent interest has focused on 'self-generated' gradients, in which cell populations create their own local gradients as they move. Here, we consider the interplay between chemoattractants and single cells. To achieve this, we extend a recently developed computational model to incorporate breakdown of extracellular attractants by membrane-bound enzymes. Model equations are parametrized, using the published estimates from Dictyostelium cells chemotaxing towards cyclic AMP...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
William R Holmes, Adriana E Golding, William M Bement, Leah Edelstein-Keshet
Rho GTPases are regulatory proteins whose patterns on the surface of a cell affect cell polarization, cell motility and repair of single-cell wounds. The stereotypical patterns formed by two such proteins, Rho and Cdc42, around laser-injured frog oocytes permit experimental analysis of GTPase activation, inactivation, segregation and crosstalk. Here, we review the development and analysis of a spatial model of GTPase dynamics that describe the formation of concentric zones of Rho and Cdc42 activity around wounds, and describe how this model has provided insights into the roles of the GTPase effector molecules protein kinase C (PKCβ and PKCη) and guanosine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor (GDI) in the wound response...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Kishore K Bokka, Edwin C Jesudason, David Warburton, Sharon R Lubkin
Peristalsis begins in the lung as soon as the smooth muscle (SM) forms, and persists until birth. As the prenatal lung is filled with liquid, SM action can, through lumen pressure, deform tissues far from the immediately adjacent tissues. Stretching of embryonic tissues has been shown to have potent morphogenetic effects. We hypothesize that these effects are at work in lung morphogenesis. In order to refine that broad hypothesis in a quantitative framework, we geometrically analyse cell shapes in an epithelial tissue, and individual cell deformations resulting from peristaltic waves that completely occlude the airway...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Jérôme R D Soiné, Nils Hersch, Georg Dreissen, Nico Hampe, Bernd Hoffmann, Rudolf Merkel, Ulrich S Schwarz
Animal cells use traction forces to sense the mechanics and geometry of their environment. Measuring these traction forces requires a workflow combining cell experiments, image processing and force reconstruction based on elasticity theory. Such procedures have already been established mainly for planar substrates, in which case one can use the Green's function formalism. Here we introduce a workflow to measure traction forces of cardiac myofibroblasts on non-planar elastic substrates. Soft elastic substrates with a wave-like topology were micromoulded from polydimethylsiloxane and fluorescent marker beads were distributed homogeneously in the substrate...
October 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Sophie E Miller, Michelle H Teplensky, Peyman Z Moghadam, David Fairen-Jimenez
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), formed by the self-assembly of metal centres or clusters and organic linkers, possess many key structural and chemical features that have enabled them to be used in sensing platforms for a variety of environmentally, chemically and biomedically relevant compounds. In particular, their high porosity, large surface area, tuneable chemical composition, high degree of crystallinity, and potential for post-synthetic modification for molecular recognition make MOFs promising candidates for biosensing applications...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Tiesheng Wang, Meisam Farajollahi, Yeon Sik Choi, I-Ting Lin, Jean E Marshall, Noel M Thompson, Sohini Kar-Narayan, John D W Madden, Stoyan K Smoukov
Electromechanical coupling in electroactive polymers (EAPs) has been widely applied for actuation and is also being increasingly investigated for sensing chemical and mechanical stimuli. EAPs are a unique class of materials, with low-moduli high-strain capabilities and the ability to conform to surfaces of different shapes. These features make them attractive for applications such as wearable sensors and interfacing with soft tissues. Here, we review the major types of EAPs and their sensing mechanisms. These are divided into two classes depending on the main type of charge carrier: ionic EAPs (such as conducting polymers and ionic polymer-metal composites) and electronic EAPs (such as dielectric elastomers, liquid-crystal polymers and piezoelectric polymers)...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Kenichi Soga, Jennifer Schooling
Design, construction, maintenance and upgrading of civil engineering infrastructure requires fresh thinking to minimize use of materials, energy and labour. This can only be achieved by understanding the performance of the infrastructure, both during its construction and throughout its design life, through innovative monitoring. Advances in sensor systems offer intriguing possibilities to radically alter methods of condition assessment and monitoring of infrastructure. In this paper, it is hypothesized that the future of infrastructure relies on smarter information; the rich information obtained from embedded sensors within infrastructure will act as a catalyst for new design, construction, operation and maintenance processes for integrated infrastructure systems linked directly with user behaviour patterns...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
James D Manton, Josephine A E Hughes, Oliver Bonner, Omar A Amjad, Philip Mair, Isabella Miele, Tiesheng Wang, Vitaly Levdik, Richard D Hall, Géraldine Baekelandt, Fernando da Cruz Vasconcellos, Oliver Hadeler, Tanya Hutter, Clemens F Kaminski
Many countries have a rapidly ageing population, placing strain on health services and creating a growing market for assistive technology for older people. We have, through a student-led, 12-week project for 10 students from a variety of science and engineering backgrounds, developed an integrated sensor system to enable older people, or those at risk, to live independently in their own homes for longer, while providing reassurance for their family and carers. We provide details on the design procedure and performance of our sensor system and the management and execution of a short-term, student-led research project...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Fumiya Iida, Surya G Nurzaman
Sensor morphology, the morphology of a sensing mechanism which plays a role of shaping the desired response from physical stimuli from surroundings to generate signals usable as sensory information, is one of the key common aspects of sensing processes. This paper presents a structured review of researches on bioinspired sensor morphology implemented in robotic systems, and discusses the fundamental design principles. Based on literature review, we propose two key arguments: first, owing to its synthetic nature, biologically inspired robotics approach is a unique and powerful methodology to understand the role of sensor morphology and how it can evolve and adapt to its task and environment...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Ashim Dhakal, Frédéric Peyskens, Stéphane Clemmen, Ali Raza, Pieter Wuytens, Haolan Zhao, Nicolas Le Thomas, Roel Baets
We review an on-chip approach for spontaneous Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy based on evanescent excitation of the analyte as well as evanescent collection of the Raman signal using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible single mode waveguides. The signal is either directly collected from the analyte molecules or via plasmonic nanoantennas integrated on top of the waveguides. Flexibility in the design of the geometry of the waveguide, and/or the geometry of the antennas, enables optimization of the collection efficiency...
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Chiara Martino, Andrew J deMello
Artificial cells are best defined as micrometre-sized structures able to mimic many of the morphological and functional characteristics of a living cell. In this mini-review, we describe progress in the application of droplet-based microfluidics for the generation of artificial cells and protocells.
August 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Monica E Susilo, Jeffrey A Paten, Edward A Sander, Thao D Nguyen, Jeffrey W Ruberti
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2015.0088.].
June 6, 2016: Interface Focus
A G Atkins
Three separate aspects of cutting are investigated which complement other papers on the mechanics of separation processes presented at this interdisciplinary Theo Murphy meeting. They apply in all types of cutting whether blades are sharp or blunt, and whether the material being cut is 'hard, stiff and strong' or 'soft, compliant and weak'. The first topic discusses why it is easier to cut when there is motion along (parallel to) the blade as well motion across (perpendicular to) the cutting edge, and the analysis is applied to optimization of blade geometries to produce minimum cutting forces and hence minimum damage to cut surfaces...
June 6, 2016: Interface Focus
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