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BACKGROUND Cells sense the extracellular environment using adhesion receptors (integrins) linked to the intracellular actin cytoskeleton through a complex network of regulatory proteins that, all together, form focal adhesions (FAs). The molecular basis of how these sensing units are regulated, how they are implicated in transducing mechanical stimuli, and(More)
The continuum mechanical treatment of biological growth and remodeling has attracted considerable attention over the past fifteen years. Many aspects of these problems are now well-understood, yet there remain areas in need of significant development from the standpoint of experiments, theory, and computation. In this perspective paper we review the state(More)
Cell migration is a fundamental feature of the interaction of cells with their surrounding. The cell's stiffness and ability to deform itself are two major characteristics that rule migration behavior especially in three-dimensional tissue. We simulate this situation making use of a micro-fabricated migration chip to test the active invasive behavior of(More)
Mechanical forces can regulate various functions in living cells. The cytoskeleton is a crucial element for the transduction of forces in cell-internal signals and subsequent biological responses. Accordingly, many studies in cellular biomechanics have been focused on the role of the contractile acto-myosin system in such processes. A widely used method to(More)
Cells have the ability to measure and respond to extracellular signals like chemical molecules and topographical surface features by changing their orientation. Here, we examined the orientation of cultured human melanocytes exposed to grooved topographies. To predict the cells' orientation response, we describe the cell behavior with an automatic(More)
The actin cytoskeleton plays a crucial role for the spreading of cells, but is also a key element for the structural integrity and internal tension in cells. In fact, adhesive cells and their actin stress fiber-adhesion system show a remarkable reorganization and adaptation when subjected to external mechanical forces. Less is known about how mechanical(More)
The physics of solid tumor growth can be considered at three distinct size scales: the tumor scale, the cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) scale and the sub-cellular scale. In this paper we consider the tumor scale in the interest of eventually developing a system-level understanding of the progression of cancer. At this scale, cell populations and chemical(More)
A minimal model of cellular mechanosensing system that consists of a single stress fiber adhering on a substrate via two focal adhesions made of catch bonds is adopted to investigate the phenomena of cell reorientation on substrates induced by an applied uniaxial cyclic stretch. The model indicates that the catch bonds in the focal adhesions experience a(More)
The cytoskeleton is an important factor in the functional and structural adaption of cells to mechanical forces. In this study we investigated the impact of microtubules and the acto-myosin machinery on the kinetics of force-induced reorientation of NIH3T3 fibroblasts. These cells were subjected to uniaxial stretching forces that are known to induce(More)
We present a procedure that extracts detailed morphological measurements from human melanocyte cells. The cells and imaging condition have the following characteristics: (i) no immunohistochemical markers were used (i.e. no colour); (ii) their morphology is rather elongated, and every cell has a number of dendrites; and (iii) overlapping dendrites are(More)