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Last updated 8 April 2024

Thursday 2 May 2024

AuthorJosé MC CORTES & Inas H FASRIS
Time: 11H00
Language: English
Place: Conference Room at LabTAU

Abstract: #1 MECHANICAL CHARACTERISATION OF THE TUMOUR MICROENVIRONMENT BY MICROELASTOGRAPHY This workoutlines the mechanical characterization of the tumor microenvironment using microelastography as part of a broader research project focused on modifying the response of tumor cell microenvironments. The overarching objective is to induce therapeutic effects in various tumors through controlled mechanical shear waves. Key components of the project include a theoretical framework for analyzing mechanically induced signaling pathways in tumor progression and treatment, the development of a transducer to generate and insonate mechanical shear waves in a controlled microenvironment, and the design of a dynamic optical microelastography technique to characterize the induced mechanical microenvironment and tumors. Specifically, this thesis focuses on the design of dynamicopticalmicroelastography to provide experimental data for computational models and verify the functionality of the bioreactor. The main objectives include a parametric study of a biocompatible matrix to create a microenvironment for tumor spheroids, mechanical studies of tumor spheroids and their microenvironments, analysis of viscoelastic models and parameters of the matrix and tumor, and the investigation of in vitro tumor growth at the mechanical level and its impact on the microenvironment. This work aims to deepen understanding of tumor mechanobiology and contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches.


Part I: Torsional Wave Elastography (TWE) Sensor Design and Application on soft tissue

The first part of the presentation pivots to the practical application of these theoretical insights, focusing on the design and clinical application of a Torsional Wave Elastography (TWE) sensor. This innovative tool represents a leap forward in non-invasive cervical and skin lesion diagnostics among others, moving beyond conventional elasticity metrics to capture a fuller spectrum of mechanical biomarkers, including viscosity, anisotropy, and heterogeneity. Through detailed analysis and clinical validation, we demonstrate how TWE can significantly enhance diagnostic accuracy, particularly in identifying and characterizing skin lesions.

Part II: Bridging Vascularity and Mechanics

This research project, "Mapping the Vascular Maze: Investigating the Interplay Between Tissue Vascularity and Viscoelasticity," conducted at the University of Granada, aims to uncover the complex relationship between the structure of blood vessels within tissues and their ability to deform and recover, known as viscoelasticity. Centredaround the fractional alpha (α) parameter in viscoelastic models, this study explores how vascularity influences tissue mechanics, with a particular focus on cancer where abnormal blood vessel patterns are prevalent. By combining advanced computational models with experimental work using 3D-printed tissue phantoms, the team seeks to link tissue vascularity with mechanical properties, understand vascular changes in tumours, and improve predictive models for tissue behaviourunder stress. This interdisciplinary effort integrates physics, biology, engineering, and materials science, aiming to enhance diagnostics and treatment strategies by leveraging the mechanical properties influenced by tissue vascularity.