Publications by authors named "John Baek"

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Platelet heterogeneity enhances blood clot volumetric contraction: An example of asynchrono-mechanical amplification.

Biomaterials 2021 Jul 23;274:120828. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0405, USA. Electronic address:

Physiological processes such as blood clotting and wound healing as well as pathologies such as fibroses and musculoskeletal contractures, all involve biological materials composed of a contracting cellular population within a fibrous matrix, yet how the microscale interactions among the cells and the matrix lead to the resultant emergent behavior at the macroscale tissue level remains poorly understood. Platelets, the anucleate cell fragments that do not divide nor synthesize extracellular matrix, represent an ideal model to study such systems. During blood clot contraction, microscopic platelets actively pull fibers to shrink the macroscale clot to less than 10% of its initial volume. We discovered that platelets utilize a new emergent behavior, asynchrono-mechanical amplification, to enhanced volumetric material contraction and to magnify contractile forces. This behavior is triggered by the heterogeneity in the timing of a population of actuators. This result indicates that cell heterogeneity, often attributed to stochastic cell-to-cell variability, can carry an essential biophysical function, thereby highlighting the importance of considering 4 dimensions (space + time) in cell-matrix biomaterials. This concept of amplification via heterogeneity can be harnessed to increase mechanical efficiency in diverse systems including implantable biomaterials, swarm robotics, and active polymer composites.
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July 2021