For the MOTILITY project, we investigated the role of the tissue microenvironment in controlling pulmonary artery vascular smooth muscle cell motility, and the shifting geometries inherent in this movement. In brief, with pulmonary vascular disease, the ECM microenvironment within the blood vessel wall changes radically. Collagen fibers are broken down causing cells to move from their resting place into the lumen of the blood vessel, resulting in occlusion, pulmonary vascular disease, and heart failure. Understanding how individual patient’s cells move from the vessel wall to the lumen will hopefully yield personalized signatures that can be used to diagnose, prognosticate and aid in choice of therapy for patients with pulmonary vascular disease. Architecturally, this project is resulting in a more complex understanding of a dynamic cellular structure that negotiates and integrates changes in external forces with internal cellular mechanics.
UPenn Dept of ARCH745, Nonlinear Biosynthesis (Sabin & Jones)
Andrew Ruggles & Megan Born
Mathieu Tamby, PhD, Keith Neeves, PhD, & Vanesa Karamanian, M.D.