Mechanical Models of Complex Diseases
Thursday, June 17 at 04:15am (PDT)Thursday, June 17 at 12:15pm (BST)Thursday, June 17 08:15pm (KST)
Fabian Spill (University of Birmingham, USA)
Almost all complex diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, or asthma, have mechanical characteristics that were found to contribute to disease progression independently of well-studied molecular or genetic disease characteristics. Such mechanical characteristics include altered extracellular matrix properties or changes in cell mechanics. Mathematical models are developed to understand how cell and tissue mechanics change during disease progression, and, importantly, how cells are affected by these altered mechanical properties. Experiments and models have uncovered that almost all cell phenotypes can be affected by mechanical factors. Therefore, integrated mechano-chemical models are being developed that can lead to insights into the complex interplay of mechanical and non-mechanical disease signatures. Moreover, the importance of mechanics on disease progression makes interference with mechanics a promising therapeutic route for such diseases, where mathematical models can lead the way to identify novel treatment options.