Soft Condensed Matter Seminar

Soft Condensed Matter Seminar

Biophysical force regulation in cell migration


January 14, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


EBB Krone Building


CHOA Seminar Room 1st Floor


Cornell University

Content Images


In native states, animal cells are surrounded by either fluid or a biopolymer network. The cell-environment interactions critically regulate cell function, as well as collective cell motion. The key to this interaction is the biophysical forces that cells generate. In this talk, I will focus on experimental studies of single cell force regulation in two biological systems. One is on tumor cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction, in which we find that cell-ECM interacts reciprocally, cell traction force stiffens the matrix, and matrix in return, promotes cell force generation. Implications of this two-way cell-ECM interaction in tumor invasion will be discussed. In a second example, we studied how sperm cells swim against fluid flows guided by a hydrodynamic force. Interestingly, in both cases, biological matrices/fluids enhance force transmission range and promote cell-cell interaction.