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ERC

CellInspired Report Summary

Project ID: 336104
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Mid-Term Report Summary - CELLINSPIRED (Mechanotransduction mediating cell adhesion - towards cell-inspired adaptive materials)

Adhesion is a key event for eukaryotic cells to establish contact with the extracellular matrix and other cells. It allows cells to quickly adapt to mechanical changes in their environment by either adhesion reinforcement or release. Within the project “CellInspired” we are working on understanding and mimicking the interplay between adhesion reinforcement and release.

For understanding the forces applied to surfaces through cellular mechanotransduction, we have setup NiTi-based force sensor arrays and traction force microscopy. The combination of traction force microscopy and atomic force microscopy has already shown that force transduction through cells is extremely inhomogeneous and that our experiments will be able to gain detailed knowledge about the force-adhesion and force-mechanics relationships in cells. The setups developed within the project now allow for investigating cell adhesion reinforcement and release as a function of external mechanical stress, stress history, and the biofunctionalization of the adhesive surface.

It is well-known that cells are adaptive, living materials that can reinforce adhesion and change their mechanical properties upon external stress application. Therefore the second goal of this project is to transfer biophysical knowledge into materials science by generating materials with a dynamic adaptive mechanical and adhesion response. To achieve this goal, we have made a polymer-based material based on cell-inspired polymer fibers. Currently, we are working on a reversible, chemical cross-linker and adhesion agents that let adhesion to be reinforced upon mechanical stress.

Reported by

CHRISTIAN-ALBRECHTS-UNIVERSITAET ZU KIEL
Germany
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