Abstract: The fascinating capability of cellular self-organization (often referred as pattern formation) during embryogenesis and tissue regeneration is a central question in developmental biology, regenerative medicine, and complex systems. How do the cells of a tissue know how to organize into functional tissue structures that are much bigger than themselves? How the individual cells know what they are supposed to do without a central coordinator or a blueprint? Furthermore, relatively little is known about how multicellular systems interpret the mechanical cues in the microenvironment, such as global geometric guidance, local cell-cell interactions, and extracellular matrix properties, to collectively drive the morphogenic process that creates complex tissue structures across multiple length scales. In this talk, I will discuss several biomechanical techniques for systematic investigation of complex biological systems, such as collective migration of endothelial cells during wound healing, architecture-dependent intercellular calcium signaling, and the long-range alignment of myogenic progenitors during myogenesis.
Bio: Dr. Wong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering IDP, and Bio5 Institute at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He is an editor in the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Association for Laboratory Automation. His research interests include electrokinetic techniques for point-of-care diagnostics, stochastic search algorithms for drug cocktail screening, and mechanoregulation of tissue morphogenesis. Dr. Wong received the NIH Director's New Innovator Award in 2010. Website: http://sbl.web.arizona.edu/
Host: Prof. Megan Valentine