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Dr Thomas Iskratsch
Dipl.-Ing. (Equiv. to MSc/MEng), PhD


Research Funding

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Current Funded Research Projects

The regulation of mechanosensing in healthy and atherosclerotic VSMC

Funding source: BHF British Heart Foundation
Start: 01-12-2020  /  End: 30-11-2023
Amount: £238,021

Vascular smooth muscle cellsplay a central role in the onset and progression of many cardiovascular diseases, from atherosclerosis to vascular injury, where their migration, matrix secretion, or degradation functions are deregulated. Here we are investigating how the phenotypic switch is regulated through physical/mechanical stimuli.

Investigating the cardiomyocyte rigidity sensing mechanism with micro patterned surfaces and nanopil

Funding source: BBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-02-2019  /  End: 31-03-2023
Amount: £490,545

The composition and the stiffness of the cardiac extracellular matrix change during development or in heart disease. Cardiomyocytes and their progenitors sense these changes, which decides over Cardiomyocyte fate. Our preliminary data suggested a cardiomyocyte specific rigidity sensing mechanism which we will investigate here in detail.

3D Photoelectrochemical Imaging in Porous Light-Addressable Structures

Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 04-01-2021  /  End: 03-10-2022
Amount: £202,248

The project aims to develop a photoelectrochemical imaging system for mapping of electrochemical processes in three dimensions within porous electrode structures. The new technology will aid the development of novel electrode materials for energy harvesting devices and be suitable for in-situ 3D functional imaging in 3D tissue culture.

Current PhD Studentship Projects

Development of functional 3D eccrine sweat gland model

Funding source: Unilever UK Ltd
Start: 04-10-2021  /  End: 03-10-2024

Development of functional 3D eccrine sweat gland model


Funding source: Fondazione Dompé
Start: 01-07-2021  /  End: 30-06-2024

Previous Funded Research Projects

Mechano-regulation of myofibril formation and cardiac remodelling

Funding source: British Heart Foundation
Start: 01-01-2015  /  End: 31-12-2018

While chemical cues have well-established roles in guiding cell differentiation, there is growing evidence of a role for mechanical stimuli, such as matrix rigidity during heart development and disease. However, the mechanisms that underlie this mechanical signalling remain elusive. Here we will study this by combining cell biology, biophysics and nanotechnology in a three-tiered approach in which we examine the cardiomyocyte response to A) passive resistance and varying rigidity; B) active force; C) no force. Detailed understanding will lead to novel and valuable insights into mechanisms of cardiac mechanosensing and could result in novel or improved therapeutic strategies for cardiac diseases.