Solid stress and elastic energy as measures of tumour mechanopathology
Dr. Hadi T. Nia, Harvard Medical School
Solid stress and tissue stiffness affect tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and treatment. Unlike stiffness, which can be precisely mapped in tumors, the measurement of solid stresses is challenging. In this seminar, I will present three distinct and quantitative techniques to obtain two-dimensional spatial mappings of solid stress and the resulting elastic energy in excised or in situ tumors with arbitrary shapes and wide size ranges. These techniques rely on the measurement of tissue displacement after disruption of the confining structures. I will present the findings from the application of these methods in models of primary tumors and metastasis: (i) solid stress depends on both cancer cells and their microenvironment; (ii) solid stress increases with tumor size; and (iii) mechanical confinement by the surrounding tissue significantly contributes to intratumoral solid stress. Finally, I will discuss how the study of the genesis and consequences of solid stress, facilitated by the engineering principles presented in this seminar, may lead to significant discoveries and new therapies.