cellular mechanics and mechanotransduction
Fibroblast cell on a 25x25um squared pattern. Left: DIC; Right: Inmunostainings for vinculin (green), actin (red) and the nucleus (blue).
Physical interactions are an important currency of information transfer for cells in their native environment. Cells experience and generate a broad range of mechanical signals. We are interested in characterizing different cellular responses to dynamic forces, strains, and rigidities to better understand the underlying mechanisms by which cells sense the mechanics of their microenvironment, generate tension and respond to it.
How does a single cell sense the stiffness of its surroundings? How does strain of the extracellular matrix affect branching morphogenesis? How is tension transmitted within a cell? How is cell tension controlled and maintained? How do these mechanical signals translate into changes in protein expression? We are developing novel techniques and approaches to address these and further questions of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction in a wide range of cell types, from neutrophils to fibroblast and epithelial cells.
Kevin Webster Alba Diz Muñoz
Win Pin Ng Gautham Venugopalan Mike D'Ambrosio
Fluorescently lableled mammary epithelial cells growing into a collagen matrix (1,3)
Gautham Venugopalan and Doug Brownfield
Fluorescently labeled Type I collagen fibers(2)