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Microbuckling of fibrin provides a mechanism for cell mechanosensing

Notbohm, Jacob and Lesman, Ayelet and Rosakis, Phoebus and Tirrell, David A. and Ravichandran, Guruswami (2015) Microbuckling of fibrin provides a mechanism for cell mechanosensing. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12 (108). Art. No. 20150320. ISSN 1742-5689. PMCID PMC4528600.

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Biological cells sense and respond to mechanical forces, but how such a mechanosensing process takes place in a nonlinear inhomogeneous fibrous matrix remains unknown. We show that cells in a fibrous matrix induce deformation fields that propagate over a longer range than predicted by linear elasticity. Synthetic, linear elastic hydrogels used in many mechanotransduction studies fail to capture this effect. We develop a nonlinear microstructural finite-element model for a fibre network to simulate localized deformations induced by cells. The model captures measured cell-induced matrix displacements from experiments and identifies an important mechanism for long-range cell mechanosensing: loss of compression stiffness owing to microbuckling of individual fibres. We show evidence that cells sense each other through the formation of localized intercellular bands of tensile deformations caused by this mechanism.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper CentralArticle
Tirrell, David A.0000-0003-3175-4596
Ravichandran, Guruswami0000-0002-2912-0001
Additional Information:© 2015 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. Received April 10, 2015. Accepted May 12, 2015. his work was funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Division of Materials Research No. 0520565) through the Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials at the California Institute of Technology, and in part, by National Science Foundation grant no. DMR-1206121. J.N. was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant no. DGE-1144469. Authors' contributions: J.N. and A.L. performed the experiments. J.N. performed the simulations. J.N. and P.R. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and gave approval for publication. We have no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Subject Keywords:fibrous matrix, buckling, three-dimensional traction force, cell mechanics
Issue or Number:108
PubMed Central ID:PMC4528600
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150819-141650427
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Notbohm J, Lesman A, Rosakis P, Tirrell DA, Ravichandran G. 2015 Microbuckling of fibrin provides a mechanism for cell mechanosensing. J. R. Soc. Interface 12: 20150320.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59771
Deposited By: Irina Meininger
Deposited On:19 Aug 2015 21:46
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 23:27

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