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Cardiomyocytes from late embryos and neonates do optimal work and striate best on substrates with tissue-level elasticity: metrics and mathematics

Authors
  • Majkut, Stephanie F.1
  • Discher, Dennis E.2
  • 1 University of Pennsylvania, Physics and Astronomy, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-6396, USA , Philadelphia (United States)
  • 2 University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Group of Physics and Astronomy and Biophysical Engineering Lab, 129 Towne Bldg., Philadelphia, PA, 19104-6315, USA , Philadelphia (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 03, 2012
Volume
11
Issue
8
Pages
1219–1225
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10237-012-0413-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

In this review, we discuss recent studies on the mechanosensitive morphology and function of cardiomyocytes derived from embryos and neonates. For early cardiomyocytes cultured on substrates of various stiffnesses, contractile function as measured by force production, work output and calcium handling is optimized when the culture substrate stiffness mimics that of the tissue from which the cells were obtained. This optimal contractile function corresponds to changes in sarcomeric protein conformation and organization that promote contractile ability. In light of current models for myofibillogenesis, a recent mathematical model of striation and alignment on elastic substrates helps to illuminate how substrate stiffness modulates early myofibril formation and organization. During embryonic heart formation and maturation, cardiac tissue mechanics change dynamically. Experiments and models highlighted here have important implications for understanding cardiomyocyte differentiation and function in development and perhaps in regeneration processes.

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