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Mechanobiology: Biophysical Regulation of Cell Signaling and Tissue Function

Using novel microfluidic devices, CBE researchers have also discovered the effects of interstitial fluid flow within peptide gel scaffolds on vascular sprouting. These studies have provided new insights on angiogenesis and the combined effects of physical forces and gradients in selected growth factors on endothelial cell behavior. Musculoskeletal connective tissues are also extraordinarily responsive to physiologic levels of mechanical compressive and shear stresses. CBE investigators have demonstrated that overload injury can upregulate proteolytic degradation of aggrecan and other critical proteoglycans and collagens in cartilage, tendons, ligaments, meniscus and bone. Collaborators at Rush Medical School are helping to evaluate therapeutic approaches (e.g., enzyme inhibitors) in animal studies.

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