Nanopatterning for (Integrin) Adhesion Signalling


Integrins are heterodimeric transmembrane receptors that bind to the extracellular matrix. They are an integral part of focal adhesions, where they participate in inside-out and out-side in (mechano-)signalling. The composition of the integrin dimer determines the specificity towards either collagen, laminin or fibronectin peptide sequences. Amongst others, integrin mechanosignalling has been associated with the development of contractile structures in the heart during development, or pathological remodelling in heart disease. Previous studies indicated essential differences in the dynamics and mechanical properties of various integrins. However it is still unclear how the different cardiomyocyte integrins determine downstream signalling and force dynamics to influence cardiomyocyte differentiation, myofibrillar assembly and maintenance, or remodelling.

Together with our collaborators we aim to develop nanopatterning and DNA-origami techniques for defined ligand geometries and stochiometries for the analysis of the downstream signalling pathways.