CeNS Center for NanoScience LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
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CeNS Colloquium - Online

Date: 03.12.2021, Time: 15:30h

Mechanically active 3D microgels for single cell mechanobiology

Berna Özkale Edelmann, TU München

In native tissue, the mechanochemical communication between cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix strongly influence cellular processes related to cancer, regeneration, and development. However the exact process of how a single cell senses and processes physical changes in its microenvironment is still poorly understood. Deciphering this fundamental process will likely be essential for the development of improved therapeutics. Current approaches to studying this process fall short in recreating the mechanically dynamic, three-dimensional (3D) tissue microenvironment and the development of new technologies is necessary to overcome this challenge. In this talk, I will present a mechanically active cell culture system that is capable of applying exogenous forces in 3D at single cell resolution. The technology relies on optically triggered nanoactuators integrated into cell life supporting biomaterials and I will discuss the principles behind our approach in detail. I will then show the implementation of our technology on single stem cell mechanobiology and finish with an outlook on further work in our lab. Within the context of mechanobiology, I will generally discuss how nano- and microrobotic systems can be particularly useful and conclude with an outlook towards the future.

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