In recent years the significance of the mechanical component of biomedicine has emerged. Processes as fundamental as gene expression in cells are affected by applied stresses, and that the very identity of the cell can depend on the stiffness of the surrounding matrix. Within a physiological setting, this component has always been apparent in examples such as the mechanical function of a blood clot in stemming blood loss, or the inability of the lung to clear thickened mucus. Understanding these processes and their full implications for health requires the development of tools for applying and measuring forces at the scale of single molecules, cells and tissues.
The goal of our Resource is to develop force technologies applicable over a wide range of biological settings, from the single molecule to the tissue, with integrated systems that orchestrate facile instrument control, multimodal imaging, and analysis through visualization and modeling. Ultimately, the goal of science is understanding. Understanding arises from a series of steps: experiment design, experiment execution, data analysis and interpretation, model building with frequent comparison to experimental data. Closing this loop has been a driving challenge in CISMM, with projects designed to provide real-time data analysis, the simulation of experiments based on structural and physical models, and the ability to visualize their correlations.
CISMM is bringing its collective expertise to bear on challenges in each of our cores. Our goal is to develop new instrumentation, visualization and image analysis to accelerate the acquisition of understanding from large data sets.
Within our Force Microscopy Technologies Core, we are bringing the high throughput revolution to mechanical biology, providing instrumentation and methodologies for measurements on biofluids, molecules and cells in a multiwell format.
Within our Visual Analytics Core, we are enabling understanding of 3D, multivariate data sets in the presence of uncertainty, overlaid with 3D computational models and image atlases.
Within our Biomedical Image Analysis Core we are addressing the challenge of segmentation of large sets of microscopy and medical imaging data to understand clot structure, cell morphology and tissue atlases.
Within our Bioinstrumatics Core we bring together advances in our first three cores to create integrated, rapid and efficient instrumentation systems for turning massive amounts of data into scientific understanding with applications to cell mechanics, clot performance and biofluid rheology.