Cell Mechanics in Physiology: A Force Based Approach Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Swaminathan, Vinay S.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • All biological systems rely on complex interactions with their external and internal environments where the key factors are force sensing and force generation. These systems are highly dynamic, and recent studies have shown that it is the control and maintenance of these interactions that are essential for normal functioning. Appreciation of these roles has led to a revolution in instrumentation and techniques to study and model mechanical interaction at all length and time scales in biology. The work presented here is one such effort, utilizing a magnetics based force system to study and understand the mechanisms of cell mechanics and their role in mucuciliary clearance in the lung and in cancer cell invasion and metastasis. I first introduce the instrumentation and describe basic rheological concepts that govern the study of cell mechanics. I then report on the application of this system to study the force generation and dynamics of airway cilia. The bulk of the work is focussed on the role of cytoskeleton mechanics in cancer. I present our results which show the remarkable relationship between the cell's mechanical properties and its metastatic potential. Finally, I report on a novel pathway which is responsible for force mediated sensing in cells and show that this pathway is deregulated in cancer. These results have strong implications on the potential of stiffness and force sensing pathways as novel cancer therapeutic targets.
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  • In Copyright
  • Superfine, Richard
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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