Project stories: interview with Nimesh Chahare

Project stories: interview with Nimesh Chahare

Multidisciplinarity and collaboration are key to advancing towards new scientific discoveries, and international projects such as Mechano·Control are proof of that. Nimesh Chahare is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Xavier Trepat and Marino Arroyo, both PIs of the Mechano·Control project.

Nimesh is working on a microfluidic platform to investigate the role of biophysical forces on cells/tissues. The idea came up thanks to a conversation with his colleague Dr. Anabel-Lise Le Roux while discussing new ideas for stretching cells, and they started working right away on this new idea to make it come to life.

To measure the role of biophysical forces, they are developing a microfluidic stretching instrument called MISTI, that can control the biophysical environment via protein patterning, extracellular matrix stiffness, and dynamic stretching. Furthermore, MISTI is compatible with high-resolution microscopy and mechanical measurements.

MISTI could be a critical tool for the mechanobiology community to probe cells and tissues mechanically at various time scales. Why is that? Because it is a flexible system compatible with upright and inverted microscopy, which will make experiments on stretching cells or tissues more accessible for imaging and drug treatments.

“We could also scale this system for high-throughput experiments without live imaging”

Nimesh Chahare, PhD Student at IBEC

One of the goals of the Mechano·Control project is to develop new technologies to manipulate cells and tissues. MISTI would be very useful to unravel the physical principles behind the biological material organization. Trepat and Roca-Cusachs labs’ past work is a perfect illustration of this: from discovering hydraulic fracture in epithelial tissues to identifying critical parameters for mechanobiology such as loading rate for cells [1,2]: all done with stretching of cells and tissues. The enhanced understanding of mechanobiology would provide new insights to solve problems in multiple fields including human physiology and material design.

“These experiments allow us to understand the beauty of nature. They could inspire us to newer ways of thinking. The knowledge we build could help the world design new materials, organize transport systems, or use our setup in ways we couldn’t imagine”

Nimesh Chahare, PhD Student at IBEC

Thanks to the Mechano·Control project Nimesh has met and interacted with people all over the world. In fact, a student from the UK came to Barcelona to work on optimizing the fabrication of MISTI thanks to the project. “This network fosters a collaborative spirit that moves science further” adds Nimesh.

1. Casares, Laura, et al. “Hydraulic fracture during epithelial stretching.” Nature materials 14.3 (2015): 343-351.

2. Andreu, Ion, et al. “The force loading rate drives cell mechanosensing through both reinforcement and cytoskeletal softening.” Nature communications 12.1 (2021): 1-12.

Mechano·Control featured at the “Future Tech Week” and “R&I days”

The Mechano·Control project videos have been featured at the “Future Tech week” and at the European Research and Innovation Days event. After submitting the project videos to the “Spotlight Video Contest” of the Future Tech Week, boht videos have been selected to be aired in the session ‘Voices from the Future: EIC Pathfinder projects, stories, people, visions’ held online on the 22th September.

Future Tech Week provides EIC Pathfinder FET projects with a platform from which to blast their exciting findings, results and future paths to innovation to a wide range of stakeholders. It is a platform to showcase all the achievements in fields aligning with the European Commission’s priorities, including Artificial Intelligence and information technology, health and biotech, culture and society, energy and environment, and nanotech and materials. This year’s edition is taking place between 21st – 25th September. Future Tech Week features creative contributions from across Europe and beyond with a focus on Future and Emerging Technologies (FET).

Moreover, on September 22nd and 23rd, Future Tech Week will be part of the flagship European Research and Innovation Days event, within Hub 8 for the European Innovation Council.

The sessions entitled “Voices from the future: Pathfinder stories, people, visions”, organized in the frame of the Future Tech Week, will showcase EIC Pathfinder results from research to their exploitation into the market, through the valuable Keynote speech from Nobel Laureate Professor Edvard I. Moser (GRIDMAP), interview to the EIC Programme Manager Iordanis Arzimanoglou, the Keynote speech by Prof. Jerzy Langer – EIC Pilot Advisory Board member. Several roundtables will discuss about EIC Pathfinder future paths in a wide range of technological trends. The project videos selected by the “Spotlight video contest” will be streamed after Edvard I. Moser Keynote speech.

You can watch the session here

PROJECTS STORY: The study of mechanical forces opens a promising front in the fight against cancer

Pere Roca-Cusachs, coordinator of the Mechano·Control project and PI at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia has been interviewed for the European Comission Digital Single Market news section.

Through the interview by Giordano Zambelli, Pere unfolds the aim of the project and it’s impact to society and also explains his experience working with FET.

Finding effective solutions to fight cancer is undoubtedly one of the main scientific challenges worldwide, whose success needs necessarily to build on innovative pathways of research. Mechano-Control aims to understand the physical forces that determine the spread of a wide range of diseases, with potentially vast impact on the development of new therapies.

Read the full interview here: The study of mechanical forces opens a promising front in the fight against cancer

Mechano·Control project made easy

The Mechano·Control project has launched a series of videos describing the aim of the project. In order to reach a broad audience and bring the reaserch closer to society and making it understandable, the first video explains through cartoons, the aim of the project and the research that is being carried out by the consortium members. The second video, shows the researchers behind the project. Mechano·Control is focused on the mechanical control of the biological function with the aim abrogate breast tumour progression.