University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > BSS Formal Seminars > Understanding shape and traction of adherent cells

Understanding shape and traction of adherent cells

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jurij Kotar.

Tissue cells strongly adapt their cytoskeletal architectures and shapes to environmental cues, including the geometry of the adhesive ligand distribution and the stiffness of the microenvironment. During the last decade, it has been shown that the same physical factors also have a large impact on cellular function, including cell proliferation and differentiation. A growing body of evidence suggests that these decisions are indeed guided by cell shape, including forces acting at sites of adhesion. Using microcontact printing, quantitative image processing and theoretical modelling, we demonstrate that cell shape is mainly determined by the physics of actively contracting cable networks. Our theory can also be used to calculate forces at sites of adhesion. Experimentally these forces can be measured on soft elastic substrates with high resolution traction force microscopy, which we apply both to stationary and migrating cells. In the future, these advances will be integrated to achieve a comprehensive and quantitative understanding of cell adhesion.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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