is a rapidly growing field of science that combines mechanical and biological analyses for understanding how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli.
It aims to describe the acting forces in quantitative terms and how these forces operate at the molecular, cellular, and tissue level.
Novel concepts are placing forces center stage as crucial determinants of cellular differentiation, cell motility, tissue self-organization, and tissue function.
These revolutionary studies were enabled by technical advances, in high-resolution force measurements (atomic force microscopy, traction force microscopy, force spectroscopy, optical and magnetic tweezers), microfluidic devices, and ultrasoft bioactive hybrid materials, and 3D bioprinted cell culture models.
The consortium builds on expertise in engineering, biomaterials science, biophysics, cell biology, and medicine at five different faculties of RWTH Aachen University, the DWI-Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, as well as Forschungszentrum Jülich.