Exploiting biomechanics to direct the formation of nervous tissue

Bryan J. Pfister, Jonathan M. Grasman, Joseph R. Loverde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forces and displacements play essential roles in the development and maintenance of all living organisms. The biomechanics in living systems includes traction in cell motility, motor proteins driving cellular transport, tensegrity of the cytoskeleton, and mechanotransduction of signal pathways. In the past few decades, we have learned a great deal about how biomechanics is important in the development, maintenance, and repair of the nervous system. In this review, we critically assess recent advances in using mechanical stimuli toward exploiting the directed growth and formation of nervous tissues. We discuss current systems that recapitulate the mechanical environment surrounding neural tissues as engineering solutions to explore the relationship forces play in modifying neurons and their processes, as well as exploit these processes to enhance regeneration and repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biomedical Engineering
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • Directional scaffolding
  • Durotaxis
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Nerve development
  • Nerve growth
  • Stretch growth
  • Tension

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