0415 Spatial Mechanomics: Tools, methods, and results related to material heterogeneity in biomechanics

  • Emma Lejeune, Boston University
  • Manuel Rausch, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Adrian Buganza Tepole, Purdue University
  • Johannes Weickenmeier, Stevens Institute of Technology

In 2020, "spatially resolved transcriptomics" was the Nature Method's method of the year. With spatially resolved transcriptomics, it is possible to obtain information about the biology of single cells while retaining information about local and global surroundings. Simultaneously, machine learning based approaches have enabled massive advances in prediction and understanding based on information rich biological images and movies (e.g., CellProfiler software, Cell Painting component labeling). Excitingly, spatially resolved transcriptomics and other spatially resolved assays thus enable studying the spatial and temporal interplay between a tissues biology and its spatial mechanome, that is, the data relating to the tissues' spatially resolved mechanical properties and mechanical state. Combining information about the spatially resolved biology and mechanics in cells and soft tissue could provide unprecedented insights into physiology and pathophysiology. However, spatial mechanomics is lagging behind other spatial -omics and much work remains to develop tools, methods, and strategies to visualize, quantify, and analyze spatially resolved, heterogeneous mechanical properties and mechanical states of cells and tissues in a widely accessible manner. In this minisymposia, we will bring together researchers interested in the inherently spatially resolved mechanome. Our minisymposia will provide a forum to share innovative research including, but certainly not limited to:

*New methods towards characterizing spatially heterogeneous material properties, mechanical state, and/or growth and remodeling behavior.
*Examples of new fundamental understanding of heterogeneous material behavior (e.g., determining the length scale of spatial autocorrelation, defining characteristics of the material property distribution, relating mechanical function to material structure).
*Defining metrics and biomechanical assays that take into account spatial heterogeneity.
*Demonstrating and/or communicating the importance of spatial heterogeneous mechanical response in biological systems.
*Multi-scale image based mechanical analysis to link mechanical information from the cell to the tissue scale.

We anticipate that this minisymposia will unify researchers working on multiple different applications who share common goals. In particular, we hope to spark discussion on key future challenges in understanding, characterizing, analyzing, and communicating the importance of the mechanome.

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