New method reveals how damage occurs in human biological cells due to mechanical fatigue - Phys.org - Canadanewsmedia
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New method reveals how damage occurs in human biological cells due to mechanical fatigue – Phys.org

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(From left): Sarah Du, Ph.D., a senior author and an associate professor; Dr. Yuhao Qiang; lead author, and Jia Liu, co-author, in FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Credit: Florida Atlantic University

Human red blood cells (RBCs) are extremely resilient and have the capacity to undergo cellular deformation as they navigate across various micro-vessels and capillaries. Over their 120-day normal lifespan, RBCs must undergo significant cyclic deformation through large elastic stretching and relaxation. Pathological deformations in RBCs are associated with various diseases such as malaria, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, myocardial infarction and various hereditary disorders.

Mechanical that arises from cyclic straining in RBCs also is a key factor in the degradation of engineered materials and structures. This fatigue can damage and fracture natural biomaterials like bone as well as synthetic biomaterials used in implant devices such as dental implants and synthetic heart valves. However, the mechanisms responsible for the degradation of circulating biological cells due to mechanical fatigue are not well-understood, especially in human RBCs. Measuring the complex and clinically relevant mechanical fatigue behavior of biological cells in health and disease has challenged scientists for decades.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, have developed a novel way to measure how mechanical fatigue affects biological cells. Furthermore, they have established the important role of this effect in influencing physical properties of biological cells such as RBCs.

Results of the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provide insights into the accumulated membrane damage during , paving the way for further investigations of the eventual failure of RBCs and the mechanism that causes their destruction in various blood disorder pathologies such as .

This new technique assesses the mechanical integrity and fatigue behavior of RBCs using a general microfluidics method that incorporates amplitude-modulated electro-deformation. It induces static and cyclic mechanical deformation of RBCs and measures systematic changes in morphological and biomechanical characteristics of healthy human RBCs and their membrane mechanical properties. This method also is capable of subjecting cells to static loads for prolonged periods of time or to of controlled mechanical fatigue cycles.

“The fatigue testing platform that we have developed features multiple and distinctive advantages for the quantitative characterization of mechanical fatigue behavior of single ,” said Sarah Du, Ph.D., a senior author and an associate professor in FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. “The strengths of our method lie in its simplicity and flexibility to impose controlled mechanical loads at selected frequencies and waveforms, and its capability to probe a number of single cells over thousands of fatigue cycles.”

The researchers wanted to better understand the effect of fluctuations in stresses or deformation of a healthy biological cell on its mechanical and physical characteristics, structural integrity and performance. They also wanted to identify the function of factors such as the maximum intensity, amplitude and rate of strain, frequency of cyclic deformation, and number of cycles as well as whether or not this effect is specific to cyclic variations in deformation.

Results from the study further indicate that loss of deformability of RBCs during cyclic deformation is much faster than that under static deformation at same maximum load over same accumulated loading time. Such fatigue-induced deformability loss is more pronounced at higher amplitudes of cyclic deformation.

“This cutting-edge technique developed by Professor Du and her group will be a game changer, which will help scientists to better understand the biological functions of red blood cells and other that impact many aspects of human health,” said Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “In addition, this unique method has important applications for mechanical fatigue studies in conjunction with other microenvironments related to health and materials engineering.”


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Quantitative assessment of dynamic deformability and adhesion of red blood cells possible


More information:
Yuhao Qiang et al, Mechanical fatigue of human red blood cells, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1910336116

Citation:
New method reveals how damage occurs in human biological cells due to mechanical fatigue (2019, September 17)
retrieved 17 September 2019
from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-method-reveals-human-biological-cells.html

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A giant full beaver moon set to dazzle Metro Vancouver skies – Vancouver Courier

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While it is getting darker earlier in Metro Vancouver, this month’s full beaver moon promises to illuminate the night sky.

The November full moon is thought to have derived its funny name because it occurred during the optimal time to trap the furry creatures. In fact, both colonial Americans as well as the Algonquin tribes referred to it as such.

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“Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs,” reports Farmer’s Almanac.

While it is commonly known as the beaver moon, it was also called the Full Frost Moon by other North American Tribes.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon will be fullest during the day on Tuesday, Nov. 12. However, Vancouver stargazers will still be able to see the nearly-full moon in all her celestial glory the night before (Nov. 11) as well as later that night (Nov. 12).

What’s more, this full moon casts long, hauntingly beautiful shadows in the Northern Hemisphere. They are similar to those cast by the midday summer sun, as the moon is extremely high in the sky during this time.

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best the in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

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All-female space walk a starry-eyed achievement: The Statesman – The Straits Times

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NEW DELHI (THE STATESMAN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – It is a starry-eyed achievement almost literally.

Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, two NASA astronauts, have crafted space history by embarking on what they call the first all-female space walk.

Tasked with replacing a failed power control unit, their performance has been decidedly spectacular as they floated feet-first out of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Quest airlock on Friday (Oct 18).

The spacewalk, known as an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) in the jargon of astronauts, took place seven months after the originally scheduled date for an “all-female outing”, which had to be dropped because the ISS had only one medium-sized spacesuit on board.

The agency sent up a second medium spacesuit in October.

From space to ground zero, the happiest thought at the moment must be that both the achievement and empowerment of women are now manifest in the rarified atmosphere of space.

Very appropriately has the significance of the spacewalk been summed up by Christina: “I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing,” she said ahead of the spacewalk.

“In the past, women haven’t always been at the table. It’s wonderful to be contributing to the space programme at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role. That can lead in turn to increased chance for success.”

On closer reflection, more than the space-walk, it is the assignment that is historic to fix a failed power control unit.

Previously, 14 women and 213 men had carried out spacewalks. The first woman was the Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, who went outside the USSR’s Salyut 7 space station in 1984.

Video footage from the astronauts’ helmet cameras, as they dangled 260 miles above Earth, provided a live stream of the painstaking operation to carry the new hardware, install it and then return the faulty battery to the airlock for a postmortem back on Earth into why it failed.

Their work in space will, therefore, be followed up by the labs on Earth.

Exceptional must be the projected coordination between space science and pure science as the world knows it.

At 40, Christina is due to remain on the ISS until February, bringing her total time in space to 328 days, the longest single spaceflight by a woman and just short of Scott Kelly’s 340-day record.

Researchers are collecting extensive biomedical data on the impact of spaceflight on her system.

The majority of data available is on male astronauts, but there is some evidence that there are sex differences in response to a space environment.

One study found that women are more likely than men to suffer faintness as a result of “orthostatic hypotension”, a cardiovascular issue.

Men appear more prone to vision changes caused by spaceflight associated neuroocular syndrome (Sans).

A flight to space has a lot to bear on human health. The contretemps notwithstanding, NASA has reached a milestone.

The Statesman is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media entities.

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NASA Invites Media to Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch – PRNewswire

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Media accreditation is open for the launch of the next SpaceX delivery of science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida no earlier than Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 12:48 p.m. EST.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and neighboring CCAFS. Credentialing deadlines are as follows:

  • International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 27.
  • U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. EST Friday, Nov. 15.

All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

For questions about accreditation, please email ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. For other questions, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

Each resupply mission to the station delivers scientific investigations in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, Earth and space science. Advances in these areas will help to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars. Space station research through the ISS National Lab also provides opportunities for other U.S. government agencies, private industry, and academic and research institutions, to conduct microgravity research that leads to new technologies, medical treatments, and products that improve life on Earth.

Highlights of space station research that will be facilitated by research aboard this SpaceX Dragon mission include testing the effectiveness of a device to separate and capture water droplets suspended in an air stream, delivering a next-generation spaceborne system to image Earth in higher spectral resolution than currently possible onboard the TERRA satellite, and testing conditions to develop an inexpensive and scalable process to manufacture optical materials in space.

Cargo resupply from U.S. companies ensures a national capability to deliver critical science research to the space station, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new investigations at the only laboratory in space. This is the 19th SpaceX mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and enables research not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, 239 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in exploration, including future missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

SOURCE NASA

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