BioE Seminar Series: Cell Migration and Morphogenesis in Viscoelastic Matrices
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex assembly of structural proteins that provides physical support and biochemical signaling to cells in tissues. Over the last two decades, studies have revealed the important role that ECM elasticity plays in regulating a variety of biological processes in cells, including stem cell differentiation and cancer progression. However, tissues and ECM are often viscoelastic, displaying stress relaxation over time in response to a deformation, and viscoplastic, exhibiting irreversible deformations in response to mechanical stress. In this talk, I will discuss our recent findings on how matrix viscoelasticity regulates various biological processes, including collective invasion by cancer cells and the morphogenesis of pluripotent stem cells.