STEM CELL & CARDIOMYOCYTE MECHANICS
One of the main cellular systems we strive to understand are cardiac cells. Our main interest is to evaluate the role that external mechanical properties play in driving the differentiation of stem cells towards cardiomyocytes and their impact on cell physiology. In addition, we also use cell mechanics as a readout of the physiological state of the cell which we interpret in the context of a variety of cardiomyopathies.
Within this research line we make use of human induced pluripotent stem cells to which we apply CRISPR/Cas technology and other molecular biology tools to generate clones of interest. We combine these, with image analysis algorithms applied to phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy imaging as well as mechanical probing through atomic force microscopy (AFM) and real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC). Additional expertise and equipment available in-house and on campus allow us to expand the range of analysis we can perform.