Research Topic

Mechanotransduction and Development of Cardiovascular Form and Function.

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About this Research Topic

The focus of this Research Topic will be on mechanotransduction and the developing cardiovascular system. The topic will encompass (1) development of both the heart and vasculature, (2) modeling of biophysical parameters, (3) findings from several model systems, including mouse, avians, and zebrafish, (4) ...

The focus of this Research Topic will be on mechanotransduction and the developing cardiovascular system. The topic will encompass (1) development of both the heart and vasculature, (2) modeling of biophysical parameters, (3) findings from several model systems, including mouse, avians, and zebrafish, (4) cardiac stem cell biology, and (5) cardiac tissue engineering. Cardiomyocyte and vascular cell biology and extracellular matrix (ECM) mediated transduction of the biophysical forces into biochemical signals will be addressed. The interplay between form , function, and molecular changes is critical for cardiovascular development. Form and molecular changes have been addressed by many studies, but the same cannot be said for functional studies. This is understandable because of the challenges that a small beating heart imposes on imaging modalities. More recently, thanks to the emergence of new technologies, multiple studies have demonstrated the importance of mechanotransduction on the physical characteristics of the extracellular matrix or of blood flow that in turn impact intracellular signals necessary to coordinate cardiovascular development. These analyses of multiple model systems have deployed new technologies such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology to permit visualization in real-time of the developing form and function of the heart and blood vessels. Model systems that have been used in analyses and modeling include the mammalian, avian and zebrafish models, and engineered tissue in vitro. Fluorescent probes have permitted imaging within live vertebrate models and computer-assisted modeling. Other analyses have demonstrated specific molecular mechanisms that aid in the transduction of the biophysical forces. Some of the molecular aspects to be considered are extracellular matrix molecules such as fibronectin, integrins, collagen, tenascin C, and talin. These studies have provided new insights and theories into the impact of physical parameters on developing cells as they form tissues and ultimately, organs. Investigators will be encouraged to incorporate video clips of their studies into their articles. These novel advances would be valuable at the present time to bring into one special e-book as a Research Topic for Frontiers in Physiology to demonstrate the multiple types of analyses that have been carried out and the conclusions reached. This e-book would serve to bring these studies together in order to aid in defining novel directions of research in the cardiovascular field. This e-book would also aid the research community in a broader sense. Investigators in related fields such as bone development, stem cell biology and tissue engineering where mechanotransduction has a major role, would also be benefited. It is anticipated both original studies, as well as reviews and perspectives will be submitted.


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