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Surface Design

Project Credits:

UPenn Dept of ARCH745, Nonlinear Systems Biology & Design (Sabin & Jones)

Project 1:
Intercellular Connectivity;
Responsive Surface Specificity
Chun Fang, Emaan Farhoud, Gregory Hurcomb

We are interested in exploring the architectural implications of the study of intercellular relationships within the epithelial cells of mammary tissue. Taking inspiration from LeRicolais, we would like to investigate the possibility of developing synergetic structural models in which the sum of its components yields much greater results than that of each individual part. We believe that examining cell-cell interactions through the careful study of their connective processes, along with their relation to signals from their microenvironment has the potential for implications in architecturally relevant surface topologies. Through studying cell adhesion processes and the formation of the lumen in normal polarized cells, in conjunction with the breakdown of the lumen and the ECM (extra-cellular matrix) through tenascin-c dependent changes in the basement membrane we are looking to explore the pathways between the ordered healthy cell state with basement membrane, polarity, and lumen intact through an intermediate state towards a disordered condition where cells move inward disrupting the lumen due to tenascin-c introduction and basement membrane distortion. The architectural implications of a switch (tenascin-c) that alters the exterior surface condition will then affect the number of connections and the quality of connections (thickness or thinness) for the overall model. We plan on considering in our analysis the relationship between the biological process, environments, and their potential manipulations for yielding various results with intriguing architectural implications.

Project 2:
Cell Surface as Interface of Dynamic Relationships
Florina Dutt, Jieyu Pu, Ana Untiveros-Ferrel

As a team looking for a surface oriented study of those nonlinear relationships that arise in cell biology, we were looking at cell to cell connections. Through the review of evident relay of communication across the system that is made of cells and the larger entities that they conform, we were interested in the role that surface plays as an active part of this system.

The complexity of the stages of cell to cell adhesion both in the number of involved parameters and the intelligence of their behavior, set the problem of the surface to that of being more than just a passive conveyor of changes.  In the mammal epithelial cells, their specific array gives rise to the larger entity of the breasts. The effects of change in the configuration of cells from an orderly state to that of disordered disruption, is that of cancer. The triggering of disorganized behavior of cells that previously possessed capacities to engage in orderly, cooperative behavior that eventually culminates in the disruption of the larger organism of the host, is the problem of a system of relay modified.

As well, the assumption that the “superficial” comes as secondary element of skin or shielding element can be revised by a more cellular understanding of its potential. If surfaces can be embedded with enough intelligence to feedback from building processes they become as much integral part of whole rather than a discrete entity applied on a structure. The superficial as well tell us a story of what processes have come to shape its morphology; usually we are keen to try to see the works that have driven that result. But we can consider surfaces themselves as much of protagonist than readings. Maybe a more balanced emphasized on issues of structure versus skin can be achieved, where both systems (and other interrelated and supporting sub structures / building cytoskeleton and building desmosomes).



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