Mechanical Perturbations (mechanical + perturbation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Structure and dynamics of silica-filled polymers by SANS and coherent SAXS

Erik Geissler
Random crosslinking in elastomers gives birth to local variations in the crosslink density. When the network is swollen in a low-molecular-weight solvent, competition between the osmotic pressure and the local elastic constraints transforms these variations into differences in polymer concentration, the range and amplitude of which can be measured by small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering (SAXS or SANS). In filled systems, the distribution both of the polymer and of the elastic constraints is modified. By varying the proportion of deuterated solvent in the network, the scattering function of the polymer can be distinguished from that of the filler using SANS. Such measurements yield not only the internal surface area of the filler particles but also the fraction of that surface in contact with the polymer. The recently developed technique of quasi-elastic SAXS detects slow dynamic processes at wave vectors larger than those accessible with visible light lasers. This technique is used to investigate the dynamics of filler particles in uncrosslinked polymer melts. It is directly shown that the structural reorganization process of the filler following an external mechanical perturbation is diffusion-controlled. [source]

Mechano-biology of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and regeneration: Possible mechanism of stretch-induced activation of resident myogenic stem cells

ABSTRACT In undamaged postnatal muscle fibers with normal contraction and relaxation activities, quiescent satellite cells of resident myogenic stem cells are interposed between the overlying external lamina and the sarcolemma of a subjacent mature muscle fiber. When muscle is injured, exercised, overused or mechanically stretched, these cells are activated to enter the cell proliferation cycle, divide, differentiate, and fuse with the adjacent muscle fiber, and are responsible for regeneration and work-induced hypertrophy of muscle fibers. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to translate mechanical changes in muscle tissue into chemical signals that can activate satellite cells. Recent studies of satellite cells or single muscle fibers in culture and in vivo demonstrated the essential role of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and nitric oxide (NO) radical in the activation pathway. These experiments have also reported that mechanically stretching satellite cells or living skeletal muscles triggers the activation by rapid release of HGF from its extracellular tethering and the subsequent presentation to the receptor c-met. HGF release has been shown to rely on calcium-calmodulin formation and NO radical production in satellite cells and/or muscle fibers in response to the mechanical perturbation, and depend on the subsequent up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. These results indicate that the activation mechanism is a cascade of events including calcium ion influx, calcium-calmodulin formation, NO synthase activation, NO radical production, MMP activation, HGF release and binding to c-met. Better understanding of ,mechano-biology' on the satellite cell activation is essential for designing procedures that could enhance muscle growth and repair activities in meat-animal agriculture and also in neuromuscular disease and aging in humans. [source]

Mitochondrial displacements in response to nanomechanical forces

Yaron R. Silberberg
Abstract Mechanical stress affects and regulates many aspects of the cell, including morphology, growth, differentiation, gene expression and apoptosis. In this study we show how mechanical stress perturbs the intracellular structures of the cell and induces mechanical responses. In order to correlate mechanical perturbations to cellular responses, we used a combined fluorescence-atomic force microscope (AFM) to produce well defined nanomechanical perturbations of 10,nN while simultaneously tracking the real-time motion of fluorescently labelled mitochondria in live cells. The spatial displacement of the organelles in response to applied loads demonstrates the highly dynamic mechanical response of mitochondria in fibroblast cells. The average displacement of all mitochondrial structures analysed showed an increase of ,40%, post-perturbation (,160,nm in comparison to basal displacements of ,110,nm). These results show that local forces can produce organelle displacements at locations far from the initial point of contact (up to ,40,m). In order to examine the role of the cytoskeleton in force transmission and its effect on mitochondrial displacements, both the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton were disrupted using Cytochalasin D and Nocodazole, respectively. Our results show that there is no significant change in mitochondrial displacement following indentation after such treatments. These results demonstrate the role of the cytoskeleton in force transmission through the cell and on mitochondrial displacements. In addition, it is suggested that care must be taken when performing mechanical experiments on living cells with the AFM, as these local mechanical perturbations may have significant structural and even biochemical effects on the cell. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Phase-dependent and task-dependent modulation of stretch reflexes during rhythmical hand tasks in humans

Ruiping Xia
Phase-dependent and task-dependent modulation of reflexes has been extensively demonstrated in leg muscles during locomotory activity. In contrast, the modulation of reflex responses of hand muscles during rhythmic movement is poorly documented. The objective of this study was to determine whether comparable reflex modulation occurs in muscles controlling finger motions during rhythmic, fine-motor tasks akin to handwriting. Twelve healthy subjects performed two rhythmic tasks while reflexes were evoked by mechanical perturbations applied at various phases of each task. Electromyograms (EMGs) were recorded from four hand muscles, and reflexes were averaged during each task relative to the movement phase. Stretch reflexes in all four muscles were found to be modulated in amplitude with respect to the phase of the rhythmic tasks, and also to vary distinctly with the tasks being conducted. The extent and pattern of reflex modulation differed between muscles in the same task, and between tasks for the same muscle. Muscles with a primary role in each task showed a higher correlation between reflex response and background EMG than other muscles. The results suggest that the modulation patterns observed may reflect optimal strategies of central,peripheral interactions in controlling the performance of fine-motor tasks. As with comparable studies on locomotion, the phase-dependency of the stretch reflexes implies a dynamically fluctuating role of proprioceptive feedback in the control of the hand muscles. The clear task-dependency is also consistent with a dynamic interaction of sensory feedback and central programming, presumably adapted to facilitate the successful performance of the different fine-motor tasks. [source]

Mechanical Response Analysis and Power Generation by Single-Cell Stretching

CHEMPHYSCHEM, Issue 4 2005
Alexandre Micoulet Dr.
Abstract To harvest useful information about cell response due to mechanical perturbations under physiological conditions, a cantilever-based technique was designed, which allowed precise application of arbitrary forces or deformation histories on a single cell in vitro. Essential requirements for these investigations are a mechanism for applying an automated cell force and an induced-deformation detection system based on fiber-optical force sensing and closed loop control. The required mechanical stability of the setup can persist for several hours since mechanical drifts due to thermal gradients can be eliminated sufficiently (these gradients are caused by local heating of the cell observation chamber to 37,C). During mechanical characterization, the cell is visualized with an optical microscope, which enables the simultaneous observation of cell shape and intracellular morphological changes. Either the cell elongation is observed as a reaction against a constant load or the cell force is measured as a response to constant deformation. Passive viscoelastic deformation and active cell response can be discriminated. The active power generated during contraction is in the range of Pmax=10,16Watts, which corresponds to 2500 ATP molecules,s,1at 10 kBT/molecule. The ratio of contractive to dissipative power is estimated to be in the range of 10,2. The highest forces supported by the cell suggest that about 104molecular motors must be involved in contraction. This indicates an energy-conversion efficiency of approximately 0.5. Our findings propose that, in addition to the recruitment of cell-contractile elements upon mechanical stimulation, the cell cytoskeleton becomes increasingly crosslinked in response to a mechanical pull. Quantitative stress,strain data, such as those presented here, may be employed to test physical models that describe cellular responses to mechanical stimuli. [source]