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Special issue of Matrix Biology Published!!

Tom Barker and Merry Lindsey co-edit special issue in Matrix Biology on fibroblasts and fibrosis

The Matrix Biology and Engineering Lab participated in a number of key articles published recently in the Special Issue of Matrix Biology on Fibroblasts: The arbiters of matrix remodeling.

Grace Bingham, PhD candidate, teamed up with our friend Alexandra Naba from Univ of Illinois - Chicago and wrote an outstanding article on Spatialomics. These omics-level methods that enable tissue localization of signals are the wave of the future as we not only try to grapple with our increasing awareness of cellular heterogeneity but appreciate the dominant role microenvironment has on directing geneotypes and phenotypes of cells. This is never more important than for the fibroblast; the cell type that is perhaps the most "impressionable". Single cell approaches have really demonstrated that pathogenic fibroblasts are not some unique clonal population of bad actors, but rather are a function of their environment...

We also teamed up with Shayn Peirce-Cottler at UVA to review and highlight the emergence of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) in understanding and predicting lung remodeling due to fibroblasts. ABM has the potential to uncover highly orchestrated emergent behaviors in tissue repair in increasingly complex microenvironments. The ability to model many cell phenotypes and their interactions with matrix queues and other cell types by setting rules and allowing the agents to 'do their thing' has such great potential to uncover new biology and new therapeutic approaches.

Finally, Drs. Tom Barker, Merry Lindsey (UNMC), and Kristi DeLeon-Pennell wrote an overview of the fibroblast and their roles in fibrosis and cancer and the potential opportunities to impact our understanding and treatment of fibrosis and wound healing through exploration of fibroblasts.