IISc researchers have studied how fibroblast cells, the building blocks of our connective tissue, respond to different degrees of stiffness in their environment.
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the link between cell mechanics and wound healing. The study, led by Professors Namrata Gundiah and Paturu Kondaiah, reveals how the stiffness of a cell’s microenvironment influences its form and function, which in turn affects the wound healing process.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, could have far-reaching implications for the development of new treatments for a variety of conditions, including cardiac arrest and cancer.
“Our study provides a deeper understanding of how cells respond to their mechanical environment and how this response can impact tissue function,” said Gundiah. “This knowledge could be used to develop new therapeutic approaches for conditions that arise from impaired tissue function, such as cardiac arrest and cancer.”
The researchers used a combination of experimental and computational techniques to study the behavior of cells cultured on substrates with varying degrees of stiffness. They found that cells cultured on stiffer substrates were more likely to adopt a rounded shape and exhibited reduced cell proliferation and migration.
These findings suggest that the stiffness of a cell’s microenvironment can play a critical role in regulating its behavior and function. This information could be used to develop new strategies for promoting wound healing by manipulating the stiffness of the wound micro environment.
“Our study provides a new perspective on the role of cell mechanics in wound healing,” said Kondaiah. “We can create more efficient strategies to encourage tissue repair and regeneration by comprehending how cells react to their mechanical surroundings.
The research team is now working to develop new biomaterials that can be used to create a more favorable mechanical environment for wound healing. They are also exploring the use of mechanical stimulation to promote wound healing in animal models.
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