Principal Investigator Karl Swärd talks about his research area.
Broadly defined, the research area of cellular biomechanics deals with the conversion of cellular energy into mechanical force and vice versa, i.e. the conversion of mechanical stimuli into a biological response. These processes are fundamental and critical for life as we know it, and are intimately involved in the development of major diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and cancer. A tissue at the centre of our efforts is the vascular wall (see graphs below), which is subjected to considerable mechanical forces (blood pressure, shear stress etc). These mechanical forces are likely to play key roles in the development of atherosclerosis.
A shows confocal image of brain arteriole. B shows H&E stained mesenteric artery. C shows stacks of confocal line scans from Fluo-4-loaded smooth muscle cell in the arterial media