Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Binata Joddar


Maintenance of collagen I (Col I) and III (Col III) in a 3:1 ratio is necessary to promote cardiac health. Increase in the relative amount of Col I within the myocardium, leads to an imbalance of Col I:III during cardiac fibrosis, which has damaging effects on cardiomyocytes (CM). To represent fibrous- and normal-cardiac tissue, gels composed of Col I:III ratios of 9:1 and 3:1 were developed and used to study resultant changes in CM function. Second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, used to image Col I fibers, displayed a decrease in image intensity with the addition of the non-second harmonic Col III in 3:1 gels. SEM showed a fiber-rich structure in the 3:1 gels with well-distributed pores unlike the 9:1 gels or 1:0 controls. Rheological analysis demonstrated a decrease in substrate stiffness with the increase of Col III when compared to other cases. Finite element analysis used to estimate the forces exerted on CM cultured in 3:1 gels showed that the forces were well dispersed and not concentrated within the center of cells, in comparison with other cases. The presented model can be adopted to simulate a variety of biomechanical environments where cells crosstalk with the Col-matrix in diseased pathologies, generating insight on strategies for the prevention of fibrosis.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

67 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Brian Roman

Available for download on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Included in

Biomedical Commons