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Biorheology is an international interdisciplinary journal that publishes research on the deformation and flow properties of biological systems or materials. It is the aim of the editors and publishers of
Biorheology to bring together contributions from those working in various fields of biorheological research from all over the world. A diverse editorial board with broad international representation provides guidance and expertise in wide-ranging applications of rheological methods to biological systems and materials.
The aim of biorheological research is to determine and characterize the dynamics of physiological processes at all levels of organization. Manuscripts should report original theoretical and/or experimental research promoting the scientific and technological advances in a broad field that ranges from the rheology of macromolecules and macromolecular arrays to cell, tissue and organ rheology. In all these areas, the interrelationships of rheological properties of the systems or materials investigated and their structural and functional aspects are stressed.
The scope of papers solicited by
Biorheology extends to systems at different levels of organization that have never been studied before, or, if studied previously, have either never been analyzed in terms of their rheological properties or have not been studied from the point of view of the rheological matching between their structural and functional properties. This biorheological approach applies in particular to molecular studies where changes of physical properties and conformation are investigated without reference to how the process actually takes place, how the forces generated are matched to the properties of the structures and environment concerned, proper time scales, or what structures or strength of structures are required.
Biorheology invites papers in which such 'molecular biorheological' aspects, whether in animal or plant systems, are examined and discussed. While we emphasize the biorheology of physiological function in organs and systems, the biorheology of disease is of equal interest. Biorheological analyses of pathological processes and their clinical implications are encouraged, including basic clinical research on hemodynamics and hemorheology.
In keeping with the rapidly developing fields of mechanobiology and regenerative medicine,
Biorheology aims to include studies of the rheological aspects of these fields by focusing on the dynamics of mechanical stress formation and the response of biological materials at the molecular and cellular level resulting from fluid-solid interactions. With increasing focus on new applications of nanotechnology to biological systems, rheological studies of the behavior of biological materials in therapeutic or diagnostic medical devices operating at the micro and nano scales are most welcome.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: RRx-001 is an anti-cancer immunotherapeutic that increases the sensitivity of drug resistant tumors via multiple mechanisms which involve binding to hemoglobin and enhancing nitrite reductase activity of deoxyhemoglobin. OBJECTIVE: In the present study, the effect of clinically used doses of RRx-001 on erythrocyte deformability was examined. METHODS: A dose dependent effect of RRx-001 (1-1000 micro molar) on erythrocyte deformability was measured by ektacytometer under hypoxia (n = 8). Low dose RRx-001 (20 micro molar) in the presence of ODQ (1H-[1,2,4]Oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one), L-NAME (L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester) or nitrite were examined both in normoxia and hypoxia. Intracellular nitric…oxide (NO) levels were measured fluorometrically with DAF-FM-DA. RESULTS: Higher doses of RRx-001 (100, 1000 micro molar) significantly decreased erythrocyte deformability under hypoxia (p < 0.01; p < 0.05, respectively). RRx-001 (20 micro molar), alone or in combination with ODQ or L-NAME, did not change deformability. However, RRx-001 and nitrite caused an increase in deformability (p < 0.01) under hypoxia. RRx-001 induced NO production was more pronounced in the presence of nitrite (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Co-administration of RRx-001 and nitrite under hypoxic conditions results in a significant increase in erythrocyte deformability that is related to increased NO production. We suggest that measurement of serum nitrite level in RRx-001 treated cancer patients should be routinely undertaken and supplemented if levels are low for maximal activity.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cancerous transformation of cells affects their mechanical behavior and cytoskeleton structure. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to investigate a correlation between mechanical properties and cytoskeletal structure features in cancer cell formation. METHODS: Micropipette aspiration was used to compare mechanical properties of normal (MCF10A) and cancerous (T47D) epithelial breast cell lines. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy were employed for staining and imaging F-actin and microtubules, and quantifying their fluorescent intensity, anisotropy and fiber distribution. RESULTS: Results indicated higher F-actin intensity (43%) and anisotropy (50%) in normal cells compared to cancer cells, although there…was no difference in the microtubules intensity between cell lines. Furthermore, reductions of cortex thickness and actin layer index (60%) were observed in suspended cancer cells compared to normal cells. Changes in cell physical properties induced by cancer were attributed to microtubules. The arranged fibrous structure of microtubules in normal cells was replaced by a disorganized structure in cancer cells. Cancerous cells were about four times softer with higher creep compliance compared to normal cells. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study confirmed that alterations in cell mechanical properties induced by cancer are highly correlated with changes in F-actin and microtubule content and arrangement. It is suggested that such changes can enhance our knowledge of cancer initiation and progression.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Endothelial cells (ECs) sense the forces from blood flow through the glycocalyx, a carbohydrate rich luminal surface layer decorating most cells, and through forces transmitted through focal adhesions (FAs) on the abluminal side of the cell. OBJECTIVES: This perspective paper explores a complementary hypothesis, that glycocalyx molecules on the abluminal side of the EC between the basement membrane and the EC membrane, occupying the space outside of FAs, work in concert with FAs to sense blood flow-induced shear stress applied to the luminal surface. RESULTS: First, we summarize recent studies suggesting that the glycocalyx repels…the plasma membrane away from the basement membrane, while integrin molecules attach to extracellular matrix (ECM) ligands. This coordinated attraction and repulsion results in the focal nature of integrin-mediated adhesion making the abluminal glycocalyx a participant in mechanotransduction. Further, the glycocalyx mechanically links the plasma membrane to the basement membrane providing a mechanism of force transduction when the cell deforms in the peri-FA space. To determine if the membrane might deform against a restoring force of an elastic abluminal glycocalyx in the peri-FA space we present some analysis from a multicomponent elastic finite element model of a sheared and focally adhered endothelial cell whose abluminal topography was assessed using quantitative total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy with an assumption that glycocalyx fills the space between the membrane and extracellular matrix. CONCLUSIONS: While requiring experimental verification, this analysis supports the hypothesis that shear on the luminal surface can be transmitted to the abluminal surface and deform the cell in the vicinity of the focal adhesions, with the magnitude of deformation depending on the abluminal glycocalyx modulus.
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-12, 2019
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Bile, which is secreted by the liver, is essential for digesting fat and maintaining homeostasis. Although the rheology of bile is very important to its flow, its extensional viscosity has not been studied. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the stretching of bile and evaluated its extensional viscosity using a filament-breakup device. METHODS: A liquid bridge formed between the endplates of the filament-breakup device. The midpoint diameter of the bridge was recorded by a laser micrometer. The filament self-thinning was captured by a high-resolution, high-speed camera. We used the liquid bridge diameter to evaluate the extensional viscosity of…bile. RESULTS: All samples show shear-thinning and viscoelasticity. Bile sediment has much greater viscosity and stretches more than bile solution. Filament thinning takes a long time for bile sediment and a short time for solution. The global function for the mid-filament diameter can be used to predict the evolution of the filament diameter of the liquid bridge and the trend of the extensional viscosity of bile. CONCLUSIONS: The extensional viscosity of bile is much greater than its shear viscosity. Because mucus concentration makes bile sediment more viscous than the solution, bile viscosity can increase sharply, thereby increasing risks of such diseases as gallstones and sludge buildup in the biliary system.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Atherosclerotic lesions develop preferentially at certain sites in the human arterial system, such as the inner wall of curved segments and the outer wall of bifurcations. Local wall shear stress (WSS) and concentration of low density lipoprotein (LDL) have been identified as two important factors contributing to these lesions. OBJECTIVE: To determine if a connection exists between arterial curvature and the formation of atherosclerosis. METHODS: A set of 3-D vessel models with different bend angles was constructed. By comparing blood flow, WSS, and LDL aggregation, the influence of bend curvature on atherosclerotic lesions was assessed.…RESULTS: Upon increasing arterial bending, low WSS regions were formed at the outer wall of the junction between straight and curved segments, as well as the inner wall of curved segments. However, high LDL concentrations only appeared at the inner wall of the bend region. A connection between secondary flow and LDL concentration was observed; high LDL concentration regions had stronger secondary flow. Higher water infiltration velocity could enhance LDL aggregation, while blood non-Newtonian properties, by easing secondary flow, diminished its aggregation. CONCLUSIONS: Under the same flow rate, a larger bend angle increased flow resistance, lowered WSS, and increased LDL surface concentrations, thus indicating an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Bend angle, wall shear stress, concentration polarization, secondary flow
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-11, 2019
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated that the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) heparan sulfate (HS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) are mechanosensors for interstitial flow on cancer cells. The proteins that link the GAGs to the cancer cell for mechanotransduction, however, are not known. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the HS proteoglycan core proteins, glypican-1 and syndecan-1, or the HA receptor, CD44, provides the mechanical linkage to the cell. METHODS: The highly metastatic renal carcinoma cell line (SN12L1) and its companion low metastatic cell line (SN12C) were analyzed by Western blot, siRNA, and a 3-dimensional interstitial flow migration assay.…RESULTS: There was significant elevation of glypican-1 protein expression in the SN12L1 cells relative to the SN12C cells while there were no significant differences in syndecan-1 or CD44. Knock down of glypican-1 by siRNA completely blocked flow induced migration in SN12L1 cells. MAPK inhibitors also blocked flow induced migration in SN12L1 cells. CONCLUSIONS: Glypican-1 provides the mechanical linkage from HS (the flow sensor) to the SN12L1 cell where mechanotransduction leading to the enhancement of migration (metastasis) occurs. MAPKs downstream of Glypican-1 propagate the signal. The HS, Glypican-1, MAPK signaling axis suggests opportunities for pharmaceutical intervention.
Abstract: The endothelial glycocalyx (eGlx) constitutes the first barrier to protein in all blood vessels. This is particularly noteworthy in the renal glomerulus, an ultrafiltration barrier. Leakage of protein, such as albumin, across glomerular capillaries results in albumin in the urine (albuminuria). This is a hall mark of kidney disease and can reflect loss of blood vessel integrity in microvascular beds elsewhere. We discuss evidence demonstrating that targeted damage to the glomerular eGlx results in increased glomerular albumin permeability. EGlx is lost in diabetes and experimental models demonstrate loss from glomerular endothelial cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)A is upregulated in…early diabetes, which is associated with albuminuria. Treatment with paracrine growth factors such as VEGFC, VEGF165 b and angiopoietin-1 can modify VEGFA signalling, rescue albumin permeability and restore glomerular eGlx in models of diabetes. Manipulation of VEGF receptor 2 signalling, or a common eGlx biosynthesis pathway by these growth factors, may protect and restore the eGlx layer. This would help to direct future therapeutics in diabetic nephropathy.
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-17, 2019
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In order to play different roles in vascular functions as a mechanosensor to blood flows and as a barrier to transvascular exchange, the endothelial surface glycocalyx (ESG) should have an organized structure. Due to the limitations of optical and electron microscopy, the ultra-structure of ESG has not been revealed until the recent development of super-resolution optical microscopy, STORM. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the ESG components and their organization on bEnd3 (mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells) monolayer. METHODS: ESG was immunolabeled with anti-heparan sulfate (HS), followed by an ATTO488 conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG, and with biotinylated hyaluronic…acid (HA) binding protein, followed by an AF647 conjugated anti-biotin. The ESG was then imaged by the STORM. RESULTS: HA is a long molecule weaving into a network which covers the endothelial luminal surface. In contrast, HS is a shorter molecule, perpendicular to the cell surface. HA and HS are partially overlapped with each other at the endothelial luminal surface. We also quantified the length, diameter, orientation, and density of HS at the top, middle and bottom regions of the endothelial surface. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that HS plays a major role in mechanosensing and HA plays a major role in the molecular sieve.
Abstract: Diabetic retinopathy is known as a microvascular complication of hyperglycemia, with a breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier, loss of pericytes, formation of microhemorrhages, early decreases in perfusion and areas of ischemia, with the latter speculated to induce the eventual proliferative, angiogenic phase of the disease. Our animal models of diabetic retinopathy demonstrate similar decreases in retinal blood flow as seen in the early stages of diabetes in humans. Our studies also show an alteration in the retinal distribution of red blood cells, with the deep capillary layer receiving a reduced fraction, and with flow being diverted more towards the superficial…vascular layer. Normal red blood cell distribution is dependent on the presence of the endothelial surface layer, specifically the glycocalyx, which has been reported to be partially lost in the diabetic retina of both humans and animals. This review addresses these two phenomena in diabetes: altered perfusion patterns and loss of the glycocalyx, with a possible connection between the two.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The onset of many disease processes depends on the function of the endothelial cell (EC) glycocalyx (GCX) which acts as a flow-dependent barrier to cellular infiltration and molecular transport across the blood vessel wall. OBJECTIVE: This review aims to examine these processes with the potential end goal of implementing GCX repair to restore EC barrier function and slow the progression of disease. METHODS: Cell and mouse studies were employed to examine the state of EC GCX in healthy versus disruptive flow conditions. Correlates of observations of the GCX with a number of EC functions were…sought with an emphasis on studies of trans-endothelial barrier integrity against vessel wall infiltration of cells and molecules from the circulation. To demonstrate the importance of GCX as a regulator of trans-endothelial infiltration, assays were performed using ECs with an intact GCX and compared to assays of ECs with an experimentally degraded GCX. Studies were also conducted of ECs in which a degraded GCX was repaired. RESULTS: In healthy flow conditions, the EC GCX was found to be thick and substantially covered the endothelial surface. GCX expression dropped significantly in complex flow conditions and coincided with a disease-like cellular and molecular accumulation in the endothelium or within the blood vessel wall. Therapeutic repair of the GCX abolished this accumulation. CONCLUSIONS: Regenerating the degraded GCX reverses EC barrier dysfunction and may attenuate the progression of vascular disease.