Doing Science

Doing Science

Photo and drawings of cells

Fibrous connective tissues provide mechanical support and frameworks for the other tissues of the body, and play an integral role in normal tissue physiology and pathology. We use fibroblasts interacting with three-dimensional collagen as a model system of fibrous connective tissue to learn about cell behavior in a tissue-like environment.

Our research focuses on motile and mechanical interactions between fibroblasts and collagen matrices, analyzing these interactions at global and subcellular levels to identify unique features of mechanical feedback between cells and the matrix, and the impact of the cell-matrix tension state on cell morphology and mechanical behavior.

Our studies are important for understanding features of tissue fibrosis in relationship to wound repair, tumorigenesis, and aging, and for developing biomimetic materials to produce artificial tissues and organs as part of the emerging field of tissue engineering.