​Biophysical Cues and Ocular Cell Behaviors: The Big Impact of Little and Squishy Things

Seminar | October 9 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

 Chris Murphy, D.V.M., PhD, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, UC Davis; Sara Thomasy, D.V.M., PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Researcher, Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, UC Davis

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Biophysical cues, such as substratum topography and compliance, are ubiquitous attributes of the miroenvironment of cells. They have been proven to be as potent as soluble cytoactive factors in the modulation of cell behaviors. The main focus of our labs has been the investigation of how biophysical cues modulate cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, differentiation, and response to growth factors and drugs within the context of corneal wound healing and glaucoma. Specifically, we have demonstrated that substratum topography and compliance have a marked effect on fibroblast to myofibroblast transformation and are as potent as TGF-β1, the most well-studied soluble signaling factor in modulating Keratocyte to fibrtoblast to myofibroblast (K-F-M) transformation. Furthermore, our lab demonstrated that the stiffness of the human trabecular meshwork increases twenty fold with glaucoma and that this change correlates with an increase in outflow resistance. Understanding how biophysical cues impact cell behavior holds the potential to identify novel therapeutic targets and informs biomaterial design to optimize patient outcomes.

 nrterranova@berkeley.edu