Date of Award
Master of Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) can be initiated as a response to a traumatic brain injury, infection, toxic metabolites, etc. This results in the activation of astrocytes, referred to as astrogliosis or reactive astrocytes. This process leads to molecular and morphological changes to the cell. There has been a lot of progress in astrocyte pathology and its contribution to the brain from a biological and chemical perspective. However, little is known about how astrocytes react from a mechanobiology perspective. Astrocytes are known to be highly responsive to changes to their external biomechanical environment. The detection of these changes can be received by a multitude of different mechanosensitive channels in the cell membrane of the astrocytes, affecting its functionality. One process that lacks knowledge is astrocyte migration. Cell migration is a fundamental process that is linked to inflammation, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. Astrocytes under normal physiological conditions are typically quiescent, but under pathological conditions such as inflammation, they become migratory. Mechanosensitive ion channels have been shown to affect cell migration in several different cell types. Our study aims to improve the knowledge of how the mechanosensitive ion channel Piezo1 affects astrocyte migration under inflammatory conditions. This will give more insight into how inflammation and the activation of Piezo1 affect the cell migration dynamics in astrocytes.
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