The environment of living cells is a complex 3-dimensional structure with unique mechanical properties. These properties – combined with the ability of cells to generate, sense and respond to forces- create a novel mechanical-biological system that direct cells toward defined fates and organization.

3D displacement map around a fibroblast cell embedded in a fibrin gel as quantified by confocal microscopy and digital volume correlation (DVC).

Latest News

Sari’s paper has been published in the journal of Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC)!

April 2020

Ortal’s paper has been published in the journal of Tissue Engineering Part A!

August 2020

David’s paper has been accepted for publication in the New Journal of Physics!

September 2020

In particular we are interested in:

The influence of cell contractile forces and material deformation on biological processes at the single cell level

The effect of cell contractility on large-scale multicellular systems towards defined fates and organization

The effect of material properties, in particular nonlinear elastic properties, on mechanical interaction between cells.

In our experiments, we construct cell-biomaterial composites and use live microscopy imaging for studying their behavior in three-dimensions that mimic tissue systems. We use image analysis and computer simulations to quantify the mechanical interaction between cells and their environment and study how they regulate the biological process of choice.

Our research outcome is twofold: (1) it allows better understanding of biological processes, and (2) it provides tools to direct and control cell function including the organization of cells toward defined tissue structures, the differentiation of stem cells, and regulation of disease states such as cancer. Our research is thus strongly related to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Are you interested in research at the interface of biology and mechanics?