Engineering tools to model altered soft tissue mechanics


Gretchen Meyer, Washington University in St. Louis


Aging, injury and disease alter the extracellular matrix of soft tissues leading to compromised mechanical function.  The mechanisms that underlie this effect are exceedingly complex involving changes at the micro and macro scale that affect numerous mechanosensitive cells and pathways.  This session is intended to highlight the engineering tools that enable delineation of these mechanisms, specifically tools to measure multi-scale changes in collagen organization and matrix properties, tools to mimic those changes at the micro-scale in culture models and tools to build predictive macro-scale models.