10th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
September 25-27, 2019
Invited Talk
Viscous dissipation in soft substrates affects focal adhesion formation, cell morphology, and motility
Paul Janmey
University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Medicine and Engineering,, 1010 Vagelos Research Labs 3340 Smith Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104-6393, USA
Contact:  | Website
Hydrogels made from polyacrylamide or other crosslinked flexible polymers are increasingly used to study the response of cells to substrate stiffness. These gels are also purely and linearly elastic, which simplifies computation of cell traction forces. Real tissues, however, are often viscoelastic solids, and have loss moduli that are 10 to 20% of their elastic moduli at time scales of seconds, at which cells respond to physical signals. We have recently synthesized soft viscoelastic solids in which the elastic and viscous moduli can be independently tuned to produce gels with viscoelastic properties that more closely resemble those of soft tissues. Studies of multiple cell types, including fibroblasts, mesenchymal stem cells, and a number of different cancer cell lines show that the cellular response to viscous dissipation within the substrate is an important aspect of cellular mechanoresponse, for which the signaling pathways are only beginning to be identified.
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