Cell Speedometer

We discovered that cells immobilized on adhesive islands (righthand heat map) output two-fold stronger traction stress than cells migrating freely (lefthand heat map). The inverse relationship between force generation and migration speed reflects cell's ability to sense its speed of migration, and may serve as a tool for a cell to determine if it is traveling or has arrived at the destination for tissue formation.



Machine Learning for Traction Force Microscopy

Since its introduction 20 years ago , Traction force microscopy has served as a critical tool for understanding mechanical activities of adherent cells. However its resolution and accuracy have been challenged by the mathematical nature as an ill-posed inverse problem. We have now deployed deep learning, which is known for the power for solving ill-posed problems, for traction force microscopy to obtain stress maps at a high resolution, accuracy, and speed.



3D Printing Polyacrylamide

In addition to the extensive use in mechanobiology since 1997 , polyacrylamide has been used in many other biomedical applications thanks to many favorable properties such as adjustable stiffness over the physiological range, optical transparency, low fouling, and biological inertness. To allow the creation of complex shapes for widening its applications, we have now developed a simple method for 3D printing polyacrylamide using stereolithography.