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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Dec;15(12):813-24. doi: 10.1038/nrm3897. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Physical influences of the extracellular environment on cell migration.

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1] London Centre for Nanotechnology, 17-19 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH, UK. [2] Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LY, UK.


The way in which a cell migrates is influenced by the physical properties of its surroundings, in particular the properties of the extracellular matrix. How the physical aspects of the cell's environment affect cell migration poses a considerable challenge when trying to understand migration in complex tissue environments and hinders the extrapolation of in vitro analyses to in vivo situations. A comprehensive understanding of these problems requires an integrated biochemical and biophysical approach. In this Review, we outline the findings that have emerged from approaches that span these disciplines, with a focus on actin-based cell migration in environments with different stiffness, dimensionality and geometry.

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