Molecular dynamics and force generation: shedding new light on cell mechanosensing and communication (Research)
Microscopic analysis of forces generated by cells and forces acting on cells is a promising approach to study the role of mechanical properties in cell-ECM interactions and consequently cellular behavior. The nanoscale characterization of cell-ECM interactions requires a synergistic cooperation of multiple disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biomedical engineering, computational science, optics, biology, etc. In this project we plan to develop and optimize tools in the fields of chemistry (new biomimetic materials), microscopy (traction force microscopy, advanced super-resolution and fluctuation imaging microscopic methods) and computational modeling (algorithmic developments for traction force microscopy) to answer an important biological question: 'How do the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix affect the collective behavior of cells in 3D?'. The tools here developed will allow scientific and technological breakthroughs within all these different research domains. Due to the truly interdisciplinary character of the proposed research, we have selected the interdisciplinary panel as we think the panel members are best suited to judge the merits of this proposal.
Period of project
01 October 2018 - 30 September 2022