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cellular tractions

Journal Club Theme of March 1: Measuring Cellular Tractions

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Cell tractions are the outcome of the complex process of cytoskeletal force generation that cell uses to maintain structural stability, to sense the physical environment and to propel itself.  We are only now beginning to understand the process of cytoskeletal force generation, and we cannot yet say much about the losses in transmission through focal adhesion/integrin complexes (attachment ‘islands’ at the cell-substrate interface), but we can definitely measure the tractions that result from cytoskeletal force generation.  The mechanics behind the measurement method might be of interest to the wider audience of iMechanica, as it involves an interesting inverse problem and different solution methods that have incited lively discussions in past years.

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