Cancer Cell Mechanics

The Cancer Cell Mechanics Group focuses on the central role that the cytoskeleton and its connection to the extracellular matrix play in the onset and progression of cancer.

Functional Imaging of Single Cells: We have developed a powerful imaging platform for probing cancer cytoskeletal properties. The platform allows a high degree of control over cell morphology and substrate attachement, allowing focused investigation of cell-matrix force exchange.

  • Phenotypic differences in osteosarcoma cell stiffness.

Rho/Rac Regulation of the CSK: Single-cell numerical models have identified critical pathways in cytoskeletal regulation of cell spreading and polarization. These mechanisms are important enablers of cancer metastasis.

  • In Silico models robustly predict cell morphology.

Experimental validation: Focused and quantitative experiments have verified the mechanisms predicted by our models. We collaborate heavily with the Cellular Biophysics Group of Benoit Vianay at the EPFL, in Lausanne.

  • Fibroblast bridging micro-patterned gaps.