Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 48, Issue 10, pp 965–976

Microfabricated substrates as a tool to study cell mechanotransduction

Authors

  • Jimmy le Digabel
    • Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)CNRS UMR 7057 & Université Paris Diderot
  • Marion Ghibaudo
    • Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)CNRS UMR 7057 & Université Paris Diderot
  • Léa Trichet
    • Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)CNRS UMR 7057 & Université Paris Diderot
  • Alain Richert
    • Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)CNRS UMR 7057 & Université Paris Diderot
    • Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)CNRS UMR 7057 & Université Paris Diderot
Special Issue - Review

DOI: 10.1007/s11517-010-0619-9

Cite this article as:
le Digabel, J., Ghibaudo, M., Trichet, L. et al. Med Biol Eng Comput (2010) 48: 965. doi:10.1007/s11517-010-0619-9

Abstract

Mechanical cell–substrate interactions affect many cellular functions such as spreading, migration, and even differentiation. These interactions can be studied by incorporating micro- and nanotechnology-related tools. The design of substrates based on these technologies offers new possibilities to probe the cellular responses to changes in their physical environment. The investigations of the mechanical interactions of cells and their surrounding matrix can be carried out in well-defined and near physiological conditions. In particular, this includes the transmission of forces as well as rigidity and topography sensing mechanisms. Here, we review techniques and tools based on nano- and micro-fabrication that have been developed to analyze the influence of the mechanical properties of the substrate on cell functions. We also discuss how microfabrication methods have improved our knowledge on cell adhesion and migration and how they could solve remaining problems in the field of mechanobiology.

Keywords

MicrofabricationCell mechanicsSubstrate stiffnessCell contractilityIntegrinsTopographyMechanotransduction

Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2010