Sungsoo Na, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
723 W. Michigan St. SL 220G
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University (2006)
Cellular/Molecular Mechanics and Mechanotransduction, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006-2009)
The primary objective of our research group is to understand the biophysical mechanism by which cells sense and respond to specific physical stimuli in the environment, including dimensionality and rigidity of the extracellular matrix as well as mechanical force. As recent technology advances explosively in areas such as computing, molecular biology, nanotechnology, and microscopy, it is becoming increasingly recognized that the fundamental question of how cells function cannot be solved by focusing exclusively on individual genes and proteins; it also depends on mechanical cues, local microenvironment, and system level integration, which has collectively led to the fascinating new field: Mechanotransduction.
Our group is pursuing three research areas:
1. Physical and molecular basis of cell migration in the cardiovascular system
2. The role of angiogenesis in bone development
3. Pro- and anti-apoptotic regulation by mechanical stimuli
To contribute to this exciting area, we use experimental tools and techniques, including:
Optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, magnetic tweezers, advanced microscopy and computational image analysis such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), dynamic traction force, and intracellular displacement, extracellular matrix fabrication, and traditional biochemical methods.
Chowdhury F, Na S, Li D, Poh Y-C, Tanaka TS, Wang F, Wang N (2009) Material properties of the cell dictate stress-induced spreading and differentiation in embryonic stem cells. Nature Materials. Published online. DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2563.
Na S*, Chowdhury F*, Tay B*, Ouyang M, Gregor M, Wang Y, Wiche G, Wang N (2009) Plectin contributes to mechanical properties of living cells. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology 296:868-877. * contributed equally.
Na S, Wang N (2008) Application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer and magnetic twisting cytometry to quantify mechanochemical signaling activities in a living cell. Science Signaling 1:pl1. - Cover article of Science Signaling (Volume 1, Issue 34, August 2008)
Na S, Collin O, Chowdhury F, Tay B, Ouyang M, Wang Y, Wang N (2008) Rapid signal transduction in living cells is a unique feature of mechanotransduction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105:6626-6631. - Cited in Faculty of 1000 Biology (May 2008), Editor’s Choice in Science Signaling (Volume 1, Issue 19, May 2008)
Na S, Trache A, Trzeciakowski J, Sun Z, Meininger GA, Humphrey JD (2008) Time-dependent changes in smooth muscle cell stiffness and focal adhesion area in response to cyclic equibiaxial stretch. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 36:369-380.
Na S, Meininger GA, Humphrey JD (2007) A theoretical model for F-actin remodeling in vascular smooth muscle cells subjected to cyclic stretch. Journal of Theoretical Biology 246:87-99.
Na S, Sun Z, Meininger GA, Humphrey JD (2004) On atomic force microscopy and the constitutive behavior of living cells. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 3:75-84.