Elastic-mediated interactions between cells: Mechanical communication in cardiac cell beating

by Dr. Shelly Tzlil

Faculty Of Mechanical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute Of Technology
at Biological and soft-matter physics

Thu, 11 Jun 2020, 12:10
ZOOM meeting ID: 919-198-85007, password: 2q35r3


Cell-cell communication enables cells to coordinate their activity and is essential for growth, development and function. Intercellular communication is discussed almost exclusively as having a chemical or an electrical origin, however; recent experiments demonstrate that cells can communicate mechanically by responding to mechanical deformations generated by their neighbors. However, the characteristics of mechanical communication, its role and its ability to regulate biochemical processes within the cell are still largely unknown.

We have recently shown that an isolated cardiac cell can be trained to beat at a given frequency by mechanically stimulating the underlying substrate using a ‘mechanical cell’. The ‘mechanical cell’ consists of an oscillatory probe that mimics the mechanical aspect of a cell by generating substrate deformations identical to the ones induced by a neighboring beating cell. Cardiac cell beating is stochastic and beating cells can go in and out of phase even if beating at the same average frequency. Therefore, continuing on this work, we study the regulation of beating noise by mechanical coupling and the influence of beating stochasticity on cardiac cell pacing. Both pacing and noise reduction persist long after mechanical stimulation stops, implying that mechanical communication induces changes in the biochemical network kinetics that governs spontaneous beating in cardiac cells.

The ECM is a non-linear viscoelastic material. Therefore we expect mechanical communication to be frequency-dependent, i.e., forces applied by a beating cardiac cell will be filtered via the viscoelastic medium and will be therefore amplified, dissipated or delayed in a frequency-dependent manner. Towards the end of my talk, I will describe our recent data on mechanical communication on collagen matrices.

ZOOM meeting ID: 919-198-85007, password: 2q35r3
Join URL: https://zoom.us/j/91919885007?pwd=WVRtRjlqQ1lDZkJ1cmJGbEcwSW4wZz09

Created on 26-02-2020 by Granek, Rony (rgranek)
Updaded on 16-06-2020 by Granek, Rony (rgranek)