About this Research Topic
The microenvironment in tissues is highly complex, with diverse mechanical architectures and signals that direct cell and tissue behavior. The interplay and feedback between cells and their surrounding microenvironment result in coordinated physiological processes including cell migration and tissue morphogenesis and pathological processes such as tumor progression and tissue dysfunction. Many diverse interactions occur across multiple scales that induce and respond to microenvironment remodeling.
In vitro experimental studies help reveal underlying mechanisms including key signaling pathways and cytoskeletal and cell-cell interactions. Advances in molecular and imaging techniques help dissect spatial and temporal events, e.g. cytoskeletal dynamics and organization and subcellular profiles. The development and application of mechanically tunable substrates and physiologically mimicking 3D scaffolds help reveal the influence of mechanical and physical environmental cues on cell behavior. Co-culture systems facilitate the dissection of heterotypic cell-cell interactions. Spheroid and organoid systems probe collective behaviors and mimic tumors or small sections of functional tissue. Advances in these areas are crucial in elucidating empirical evidence of how mechanical and physical phenotypes arise in biological systems.
Computational and theoretical models help reveal physical principles that govern complex behaviors, including the emergence of collective behaviors from local interactions. Wide parameter spaces can be explored, and theoretical concepts can be derived and tested. Complex behaviors can be interpreted mathematically, providing rigorous quantitative guidelines.
In this Research Topic, we welcome Original Research or Review articles on the following recommended topics. Additional relevant topics are also acceptable.
• cytoskeletal dynamics and mechanotransduction
• cell migration and/or collective behaviors in complex microenvironments
• novel bioscaffolds and applications to help model developmental or disease processes
• theoretical or computational models examining biophysical interactions at the molecular, cellular, or tissue scales
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