Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Joshua Herwig



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Esra Roan

Committee Member

Eugene Eckstein

Committee Member

Christopher Waters


Measuring the inter- and intra- cellular mechanical response of single cell-thick monolayers to mechanical and biochemical stimulation is a complex and challenging problem. As a result, very few investigative methods exist. In this work, a robust, and proven method for determining mechanical strains is employed to address this fundamental unmet need. This work is motivated by the study of the lung alveolar epithelium, a vital and dynamic cell monolayer, which, in the diseased lung, is challenged by both potentially injurious levels of distention and also harmful pro-inflammatory immune-modulating chemicals. Previous work has demonstrated that harmful mediators (hyperoxia and TNF-α) tend to increase levels of cell detachment and reduce cell deformability. Even applying a single non-cyclic stretch in the presence ofTNF-α leads to cell injury (Holt, 2014). Furthermore cell-cell detachment has been observed inTNF-α treated cell monolayers in the absence of cell death markers, and thus, possibly acts by modulating the local mechanical response of the cell monolayer. Therefore, utilizing Texture Correlation, the hypothesis thatTNF-α increases the spatial variation of mechanical strain within murine alveolar epithelial type-II cells was tested. We conclude thatTNF-α does, in fact, lead to the development of a more heterogeneous distribution of mechanical strain in confluent alveolar epithelial cell monolayers.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.