PhD Defense by Kristin French

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday April 30, 2015 - Friday May 1, 2015
      3:00 pm - 4:59 pm
  • Location: SOM 178P; Emory University
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Summary Sentence: Microenvironmental Stimulation of Cardiac Progenitor Cells

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Kristin French

BME Ph.D. Defense Presentation

3:00PM, Thursday, April 30th, 2015

SOM 178P

Emory University


Advisor: Michael E. Davis, PhD

School of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University



Thomas Barker, Ph.D. - Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Alejandra San Martin, Ph.D. - School of Medicine, Emory University

W. Robert Taylor, M.D., Ph.D. - School of Medicine, Emory University

Manu O. Platt, Ph.D. - Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology


"Microenvironmental Stimulation of Cardiac Progenitor Cells"


Heart failure, predominately caused by myocardial infarction (MI), is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Currently the only treatment for heart failure is cardiac transplantation, but studies show that progenitor cell, biomaterial, or combined therapies have improved cardiac function post-MI.  The endogenous environment of CPCs is drastically different from commonly used culture conditions.  Further the endogenous environment changes with disease state with increases in collagen I content.  We evaluated the behavior of CPCs cultured on a naturally-derived, cardiac extracellular matrix (cECM) as compared to the standard culture coating collagen I, that also mimics fibrotic tissue.  In this study, CPCs cultured on cECM had improved cell numbers and cardiomyogenic maturation.  However, the microenvironmental cues responsible for stimulating CPC activation are largely unknown.  During development, aging and disease the myocardium changes in matrix composition and stiffness exposing endogenous cells to a wide variety of stimuli.  In a combinatorial study, we evaluate the effect of cyclic strain and extracellular matrix composition on CPC behavior.  The response of CPCs to signals from the microenvironment is complex, with more matrix-dependency observed at lower strains.  Alignment, cell division and paracrine signaling are extracellular matrix and strain dependent.  Extracellular matrix conditions affect CPC maturation and calcium signaling. Mechanotransduction pathways, including focal adhesion kinase are activated through adhesion and maintained under cyclic strain.  Insights from this work will advance pragmatic cell therapy attempts to regenerate healthy myocardium post-MI.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
BME, defense, graduate students, PhD
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 16, 2015 - 8:00am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:11pm