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Trends Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;12(2):79-84.

Flexible substrata for the detection of cellular traction forces.

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  • 1Dept of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 377 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


By modulating adhesion signaling and cytoskeletal organization, mechanical forces play an important role in various cellular functions, from propelling cell migration to mediating communication between cells. Recent developments have resulted in several new approaches for the detection, analysis and visualization of mechanical forces generated by cultured cells. Combining these methods with other approaches, such as green-fluorescent protein (GFP) imaging and gene manipulation, proves to be particularly powerful for analyzing the interplay between extracellular physical forces and intracellular chemical events.

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