Determination of the sensitivity of collagen fibril formation to static and oscillatory strains
Student: Brendan Flynn
Department: Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Ruberti
It has been hypothesized that collagen is mechanosensitive material, with strain slowing enzymatic degradation and potentially increasing fibril formation. These theories are based on a number of findings where tension inhibited degradation or increased thermal stability. To study the dependence of fibril formation on strain, a system must be designed in which small strains can be applied to newly forming fibrils while fibril formation is monitored quantitatively. Collagen solutions will be reconstituted in delta-T dishes (Bioptics) while micropipettes controlled by micromanipulators (Eppendorf Transferman NK2) will induce small strain on the solution. Fibril kinetics will be monitored via DIC microscopy.