Cellular mechanosensing: Sharing the force

Andreas R. Bausch, Ulrich S. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cells can sense their environment by applying and responding to mechanical forces, yet how these forces are transmitted through the cell's cytoskeleton is largely unknown. Now, a combination of experiments and computer simulations shows how forces applied to the cell cortex are synergistically shared by motor proteins and crosslinkers. The adaptive and regenerative properties of such tissues are strongly connected to the genetic programs of the cell types involved, and therefore progress in the design of cell-based biomimetic active materials relies on a better understanding of gene expression and differentiation in response to mechanical signals. The researchers also showed how different proteins synergistically work together in the cortex. By using various types of mechanical perturbation, they demonstrated how the force applied by a biaxial stretch to the membrane trickles down to the cortex through molecular bridges and then distributes over myosin II and crosslinking proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-949
Number of pages2
JournalNature Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


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