Interplay between smooth muscle contractility and extracellular matrix during vascular maturation

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

2:30 – 3:45pm

107 Surge Building, Virginia Tech Campus

Dr. Sae-II Murtada

Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Yale University


The interplay between vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) contractility and the extracellular matrix (ECM) is vital during normal vascular development, maturation, and certain diseases. SMC tone is essential to regulating vessel diameter, which affects blood flow as well as mechanical stress within the vascular wall. SMC tone also plays an important role in mechanotransduction, where mechanical signals are transduced from the ECM through integrins and actomyosin activity, often resulting in changes in gene transcription that in turn can affect remodeling of the ECM. In this talk, I will present examples that illustrate essential relationships between SMC contractility and ECM during both late embryonic and early postnatal development and how changes in the ECM and mechanical signals affect vascular tone during healthy and abnormal development. I will also present a multi-scale model of the SMC contractile apparatus, linking actomyosin activity to deformations of the vascular wall to more accurately analyze and interpret experimental data, which can be used to further enhance our understanding of the interplay between SMC contractility and ECM in vascular.


Sae-Il Murtada is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University working in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering.  His main area of interest is vascular smooth muscle contractility in health and disease. He earned both his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). He was awarded the International Postdoctoral Grant from the Swedish Research Council to setup a collaboration between the Karolinska Institutet and Yale University to combine theoretical modeling and experimental in vitro testing techniques of smooth muscle contractility during vascular adaptation and remodeling.