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Methods Collections

Methods for Unveiling Mechanics in Mechanobiology

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Methods Collections
Methods for Unveiling Mechanics in Mechanobiology

Guest Editors
Massimo Vassalli

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Dr. Massimo Vassalli is a Reader within the James Watt School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow and PI at the…

Mariana Azevedo Gonzalez Oliva

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Mariana Azevedo Gonzalez Oliva is currently a PhD student within the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment (CeMi) at…

Giuseppe Ciccone

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Giuseppe Ciccone is a PhD student working with Dr. Massimo Vassalli in the field of mechanobiology within the Centre for…

Collection Overview

Cells continuously exert physical forces on their surrounding environment and simultaneously perceive and sustain the environment’s mechanical dynamics. This determines both cell and tissue mechanical properties and is reflected in physiological processes such as blood flow or muscle contraction, as well as in diseases such as cancer, where cell and microenvironment mechanics are notoriously altered.  

Deepening our understanding of this bidirectional crosstal­k requires new tools to apply, measure, and control cellular and microenvironmental mechanical properties, forces, and cellular mechanosensitivity. In this methods collection, we will collate novel approaches that have emerged within the field of mechanobiology and are ready to be standardised based on available reproducible commercial components. These will include techniques to quantify mechanical properties, including Brillouin spectroscopy, acoustic force spectroscopy for cell mechanics, and microfluidic technology for single cell mechanics. The collection will also include tools for quantifying cellular mechanosensation, such as high-specificity reporter dyes, specifically Ca2+ based mechanosensitivity assays and cellular and molecular force sensors, as well as high-throughput YAP/TAZ translocation assays.

We believe that this selection of complementary methods is central to highlight the crosstalk between mechanics and mechanosensitivity, and the importance of considering a variety of new approaches to delve into the future of mechanobiology.



Using extensional flow to fabricate 3D collagen matrices with long-range fiber alignment in a microfluidic platform

Adeel Ahmed1, Indranil Joshi1, Steven Day1, Vinay Abhyankar*1
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology

Combining 3D Magnetic Force Actuator and Multi-functional Confocal Imaging to Study Nucleus Mechanobiology in CRISPR/Cas9-engineered Cells

Xin Tang*1
1University of Florida

An open-source package for controlling magnetic tape head tweezers

Cristian Castillo1, Steven Sawtelle2, David Clapham2, Sebastian Brauchi*3
1Universidad Austral de Chile, 2Janelia Research Campus, HHMI, 3Universidad Austral de Chile & Janelia Research Campus, HHMI

Methods to investigate axon mechanics by implementing an optical fiber based force device

Sukh Veer1, Sushil Dubey1, Pramod A Pullarkat*1
1Soft Condensed Matter Group, Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru, India

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