Technology Research and Development (TRD)
TRD 1: Force Microscope Technologies: 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. Instrumentation that enables detailed studies of structure and forces in biological systems from single molecules to cells and tissue level models, and developing new high throughput and microfluidic tools.
TRD 2: Molecular Imaging Tools: A key to understanding biological processes is the visualization and quantification of biochemical activation and response. As a new component in CISMM, TRD 2 provides collaborators with the ability to visualize and manipulate signaling molecules in cells as they are subjected to controlled forces. We provide already-developed biosensors and photo-responsive signaling proteins, and apply well-validated methods to generate new biosensors or engineer light and small molecule sensitivity into molecules specified by CISMM collaborators.