SFB 1032: Nanoagents for Spatiotemporal Control of Molecular and Cellular Reactions

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Controlling mechanosensing and migration of cells in disordered 3D structures

Complex cell behavior emerges from the interactions between cells and their environment. In con-nective tissues, cells migrate through the extracellular matrix, a 3D biopolymers network. A hallmark of such networks is their highly disordered nature. The aim of this theoretical project is to elucidate how the architecture of extracellular networks can control mechanosensing and cell migration. We investigate how mechanical heterogeneity in the matrix introduces “noise” for a mechanosening cell, and construct physical models for cell migration through such a disordered 3D fiber network in close collaboration with experimental groups in the SFB.