Research Interests

Recent Publications

Other Selected Publications



Research Interests

Fibrous connective tissues provide mechanical support and frameworks for the other tissues of the body and play an integral role in normal tissue physiology and pathology. We use fibroblasts interacting with three dimensional collagen as a model system of fibrous connective tissue to learn about cell behavior in a tissue-like environment. Our research focuses on motile and mechanical interactions between fibroblasts and collagen matrices, analyzing these interactions at global and subcellular levels to identify unique features of mechanical feedback between cells and the matrix, and the impact of the cell-matrix tension state on cell morphology and mechanical behavior. Our studies are important for understanding features of tissue fibrosis in relationship to wound repair, tumorigenesis and aging and for development of biomemetic materials to produce artificial tissues and organs as part of the emerging field of tissue engineering.

Recent Publications

Grinnell, F. and Ho, C.H., (2013) The effect of growth factor environment on fibroblast morphological response to substrate stiffness. Biomaterials. 34: 965-974.

da Rocha-Azevedo, B., Ho, C.H., and Grinnell, F. (2013) Fibroblast cluster formation on 3D collagen matrices requires cell contraction dependent fibronectin matrix organization. Exp Cell Res. 319: 546-555.

Han B, Teo KY, Ghosh, S., Dutton, J.C., and Grinnell, F. (2013) Thermomechanical analysis of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions in engineered tissues. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 18: 67-80.

Velasquez, L.S., Sutherland, L.B., Liu, Z., Grinnell, F., Kamm, K.E., Schneider, J.W., Olson, E.N., Small, E.M. (2013) Activation of MRTF-A-dependent gene expression with a small molecule promotes myofibroblast differentiation and wound healing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:16850-16855.

Liu Z, Ho CH, Grinnell F., (2014) The different roles of myosin IIA and myosin IIB in contraction of 3D collagen matrices by human fibroblasts. Exp Cell Res. 326:295-306

da Rocha-Azevedo, B., Ho, C.H., and Grinnell, F. (2015) PDGF-stimulated dispersal of cell clusters and disruption of fibronectin matrix on 3D collagen matrices requires matrix metalloproteinase-2. Mol. Biol. Cell. Jan 14. pii: mbc.E14-09-1396.

Park, S., Seawright, A., Park, S., Dutton, J.C., Grinnell, F., and Han, B. (2015) Preservation of tissue microstructure and functionality during freezing by modulation of cytoskeletal structure. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. Jan 24;45C:32-44.

Selected Publications

Grinnell, F. (1978) Cellular adhesiveness and extracellular substrata. Int. Rev. Cytol. 53: 65-144.

Grinnell, F., Billingham, R. E., and Burgess, L. (1981) Distribution of fibronectin during wound healing in vivo. J. Invest. Dermatol. 76: 181-189.

Wysocki, A.B., Staiano-Coico, L., and Grinnell, F. (1993) Wound fluid from chronic ulcers contains elevated levels of metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9. J. Invest. Dermatol. 101: 64-68

Grinnell, F. (1994) Fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, and wound contraction. J. Cell Biol. 124: 401-404.

Grinnell, F. (2000) Fibroblast-collagen matrix contraction: Growth factor signalling and mechanical loading. Trends in Cell Biology. 10: 362-365.

Grinnell, F. (2003) Fibroblast biology in three-dimensional collagen matrices. Trends in Cell Biology. 13: 264-269.

Grinnell, F. and Petroll, M. (2010) Cell motility and mechanics in three dimensional collagen matrices. Annu. Rev. Cell Devel. Biol. 26:335–61.