MS- 2-1

Mini-symposium title 

2-1 – Mechanics of Biological Cells and Active Tissues  


José Manuel Garcia Aznar (Universidad de Zaragoza), Patrick McGarry (NUI Galway), Eoin McEvoy (NUI Galway) 

Mini-symposium description 

The mechanical characteristics of cells are highly variable across phenotype and, critically, dynamically evolve in response to changes in the microenvironment. Further, cell stiffness, size, and shape have emerged as useful indicators of disease progression. Cells behave as both passive and active materials, supporting and transmitting loads but also generating forces that can remodel surrounding tissue. In turn, cells sense and respond to chemo-mechanical signals from their environment with tissue organisation thus regulating cell behaviour. Mechanical characterisation of cells and their surrounding matrix or tissue is key to uncovering the mechanisms driving both physiological and pathological processes.  


This emerging field of research has motivated a rapidly growing number of scientists to develop novel experimental and theoretical methods exploring diverse interests in cell and tissue mechanics. The mini-symposium will cover this interdisciplinary area, including topics related to: 

  • Cell mechanics and its relation to migration, adhesion, and force generation 

  • Cell mechanics and its role in development, physiology, and disease 

  • Experimental cell mechanics (loading protocols, tools, data interpretation) 

  • Cell mechanics using microfluidic approaches 

  • Biophysical experiments on cytoskeletal mechanics 

  • Theoretical/numerical modelling of cell mechanics and mechano-responsiveness 

  • Mechanotransduction 

  • Biomechanical behaviour of 3D tissue-engineered scaffolds 

  • Active remodelling of matrix and tissue 

  • Multiscale models of active tissue mechanics

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