Although there are some theories explaining how cellular aging occurs, not much is known about how single cell level failure leads to the failure of higher level systems.
The goal of this study is to bridge microscopic cell failure to macroscopic manifestations of aging. We use tissue engineered constructs to control the cellular-level damage and cell-cell distance in individual tissues. This allows us to establish the role of complex interdependence and interactions between cells in aging tissues. Monitoring how the death characteristics of the tissues change with different types of single-cell stresses as well as with different interdependence levels, shows how cellular aging is connected to its higher systemic consequences.