Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)
Bryan J. Pfister
Treena Livingston Arinzeh
Bozena B. Michniak
Norman K. Richardson
The main objective of this thesis is to understand, from a molecular perspective, the morphological and functional abnormalities of human dermal fibroblasts as a response to deformation produced by a normal force that can lead to the potential formation of stretch marks in pregnant women, adolescents, and people with Cushing's syndrome. The main function of dermal fibroblasts is to produce the essential fibrous components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the skin.
In order to study the mechanism of stretch mark formation, neonatal human dermal fibroblasts were seeded on a silicon membrane for controlled deformation. Upon reaching a confluence of 40-70%, they were multi-axially stretched using a device designed specifically for this thesis. A total of three samples were analyzed; two samples were exposed to 20% static strain for a time period of one hour and one sample for 24 hours. The cells presented severe morphological changes after stretching the membrane. They acquired a rounded morphology with unclear cytoplasm and nucleus. Also, the cells started to move throughout the membrane.
It has been shown that dermal fibroblasts show significant morphological changes when subjected to deformation. The observed changes are a result of total strain. Future experiments will focus on improving the device for longer periods of cell deformation and for protein synthesis.
Osorno, Laura, "Behavior of deformed dermal fibroblasts seeded on a silicon membrane under high levels of strain" (2015). Theses. 239.