Monday, October 17, 2016

Biophysical Tools for Cellular and Subcellular Mechanical Actuation of Cell Signaling

Allen P. Liu

The ability to spatially control cell signaling can help resolve fundamental biological questions. Optogenetic and chemical dimerization techniques along with fluorescent biosensors to report cell signaling activities have enabled researchers to both visualize and perturb biochemistry in living cells. A number of approaches based on mechanical actuation using force-field gradients have emerged as complementary technologies to manipulate cell signaling in real time. This review covers several technologies, including optical, magnetic, and acoustic control of cell signaling and behavior and highlights some studies that have led to novel insights. I will also discuss some future direction on repurposing mechanosensitive channel for mechanical actuation of spatial cell signaling.

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