About this Research Topic
As two main structural components of a cell, the lipid bilayer membrane and cytoskeleton are responsible for stabilizing the cell shape as well as playing key roles in different cellular functions. For example, the adhesion formed between cell membrane and outside is critical for cells to probe their microenvironment and perform functions such as mechano-transduction and endocytosis. In addition, important processes like the migration and division of cells are driven by internal forces generated within the cytoskeleton. Recently, accumulating evidence has also demonstrated that the progression of various diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer's, are intimately related to a markedly changed physical response of the cell membrane and cytoskeleton. Therefore, a precise knowledge of the mechanics involved will be one of the keys to finding new ways to detect and treat these disorders as well as understanding how cells execute different biological duties in general.
The goal of this Research Topic is to gather a collection of substantial advances made in the fundamental and application-oriented study of membrane and cytoskeleton mechanics. In particular, it is expected that this Research Topic can significantly enhance our understanding of two important issues: (i) how the microscopic structure and composition of the cytoskeleton and cell membrane are correlated with their mechanical response and ability in performing different biological functions; and (ii) how cytoskeleton/membrane remodels itself in response to mechanical stimuli (such as forces and imposed deformation) from outside or the progression of diseases, ultimately changing the physical behavior and biological activities of the cell. In the end, we hope this Research Topic can serve as a platform to bring scientists, engineers, and clinical researchers together to exchange ideas and make a concerted effort to push the envelope of this interdisciplinary and rapidly evolving field.
This Research Topic focuses on the fundamentals of membrane and cytoskeleton mechanics as well as possible biological and clinical applications. We welcome contributions of Original Research papers reporting recent efforts in the field of cell biophysics. Review and Mini Review articles are also of particular interest. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
- Cellular and Subcellular Mechanics: Cell adhesion, cell motility, force generation in single and cluster of cells, constitutive and computational modeling of cells, single-cell mechanical testing, mechanics of cancer cells, neuron mechanics and dementia, mechanotransduction in cells, morphogenesis, intracellular mechanics, multi-cellular structure formation and organization, mechanics of bio-filament networks, cellular uptake of nanoparticles, mechanics of nucleus, mechanics of cilia.
- Molecular Mechanics: Mechanics of actin and microtubule, analytical and computational analysis of biomolecules, molecular mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction, deformation of DNA, RNA and proteins, cell adhesion molecules, mechanics of subcellular structures and organelles, mechanics of endocytosis, viral budding, viral packaging, self-assembly of nanoparticles mediated by organic molecules, mechanosensitive channels.
Keywords: cell membrane, cytoskeleton, mechanics, cell biophysics, cellular functions and disease
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.