Physical Modeling of Diseases and Development: What Shape and Motion Talk
Prof. Motomu Tanaka, Physical Chemistry of Biosystems, University of Heidelberg
In nature, diseases and development are highly complex, stochastic processes. In the last several decades, two major approaches have been developed for mechanistic understanding of life: (1) molecular biology approaches focusing on the roles of individual molecules/genes and (2) in vivo studies relying on animal models. However, huge gaps in length-and time-scales often make it difficult to describe cooperative, dynamic interactions in biological systems. The ground challenge for physicists is: "how to extract numbers with units from life".
In my talk, I present some of our recent challenges to overcome the gap by the combination of quantitative in vitro models, live cell imaging, and statistical analysis. I will introduce some of our recent studies that shed light on the spatio-temporal evolution in highly relevant disease models, including (a) time evolution of the adhesion strength of human erythrocytes infected by malaria parasite, and (b) dynamic regulation of the fate of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow using stimuli-responsive polymeric materials.
I hope to show you how our interdisciplinary approach enables us to address some key questions in understanding diseases and development.
 M. Tanaka and E. Sackmann, Nature, 437, 656 (2005).
 E. Schneck, T. Schubert, O. Konovalov, B. Quinn, T. Gutsmann, K. Brandenburg, R.G. Oliveira, D.A. Pink, M. Tanaka, PNAS, 107, 9147 (2010).
 T. Kaindl, H. Rieger, L. Kaschel, U. Engel, A. Schmaus, J. Sleeman, and M. Tanaka, PLoS One, 7, e42911 (2012).
 A. Körner, C. Deichmann, F. F. Rossetti, A. Köhler, O. Konovalov, D. Wedlich, and M. Tanaka, PLoS One, 8, e54749 (2013).