Deciphering cellular and tissue responses in glaucoma are key to preventing and curing the disease. Some recent insights into the behavior of cells subjected to mechanical insult due to increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and changes in the stiffness of the sclera are helping to unravel the secrets of glaucoma.
One important observation is that the cells in the optic nerve head (ONH) are sensitive to mechanical changes.
“In general, cells are mechanosensitive and will, for example, migrate to a preferred substrate stiffness,” said C. Ross Ethier, PhD, the Lawrence L. Gellerstedt, Jr., Chair in Bioengineering, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Biomechanics and Mechanobiology, and professor of biomedical engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University, Atlanta.
Dr. Ethier provided an example of this preferential activity. When a cell is released from the soft side of a gel, the cell migrates to the stiff side of the gel. In the opposite scenario, when the cell is released on the stiff side of the gel, the cell does not move to the soft side… Continue reading.
From the design of heart monitors, anaesthesia equipment and ultrasound scanners, to biomaterials used in artificial ocular lenses and the creation of artificial heart valves, biomedical engineers have revolutionised healthcare. Reporter speaks to Professor Ross Ethier, Head of the Department of Bioengineering and Director for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME), about the work being done to raise the profile of the discipline and the exciting advances in the area.