Cells actively sense and process mechanical information that is provided by the extracellular environment to make decisions about growth, motility and differentiation. It is important to understand the underlying mechanisms given that deregulation of the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is implicated in various diseases, such as cancer and fibrosis. Moreover, matrix mechanics can be exploited to program stem cell differentiation for organ-on-chip and regenerative medicine applications. Mechanobiology is an emerging multidisciplinary field that encompasses cell and developmental biology, bioengineering and biophysics. Here we provide an introductory overview of the key players important to cellular mechanobiology, taking a biophysical perspective and focusing on a comparison between flat versus three dimensional substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mechanobiology.

Amsterdam: Elsevier
J.S. van Zon (Jeroen)
BBA - Mol. Cell Res.
Biological Soft Matter-Former Group

Jansen, K.A, Donato, D.M, Schmidt, T, Danen, E.H.J, & Koenderink, G.H. (2015). A Guide to Mechanobiology : Where Biology and Physics Meet. BBA - Mol. Cell Res., 1853(11 Pt B), 3043–3052. doi:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.05.007