Project: Investigation of cardiomyocyte rigidity sensing with engineered 2D and 3D environments
The composition and the stiffness of the cardiac extracellular matrix are changing during development or in heart disease. These changes influence the behaviour of the cardiomyocytes. Previously we identified a novel rigidity sensing mechanism in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, but molecular details are still lacking. Here we will use engineered 2D and 3D environments in order to mimic these differences and this way gain novel insights into the regulation of cardiomyocyte mechanosensing. Exact knowledge about the regulation will lead to novel drug targets to improve cardiac function after infarction, or biomaterials with improved properties to enhance engraftment and differentiation of stem cells.