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BRAE 213 wk 2 - Cal Poly BRAE 213 Professor Hazelwood...

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Cal Poly BRAE 213 Professor Hazelwood April 16, 2008 Mechanotransduction; Hair Cells of the Inner Ear Mechanotransduction, the means by which cells convert mechanical stimulus into chemical activity, is heavily researched field by modern bioengineers (Stress Strain). By applying varying mechanical stimuli to cells and observing the results, bioengineers can better understand the form and function of cells. Armed with a better understanding of cellular response to various stimuli, bioengineers are better equipped to design cutting edge therapies and advance medical technology. Hair cell response to mechanical stimuli is an increasingly important research topic in the search for a cure to hearing and balance problems. One example of natural mechanotransduction is the function of hair cells in the inner ear. Small changes in air pressure manifest mechanical vibrations which result in oscillating fluid pressures in the inner ear. The oscillations in the fluid cause a shearing motion in the hair cells of the inner ear which leads to a mecano-electrical transduction.
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