Elastic interactions of biological cells.
Authors: Samuel A. Safran, A. Nicolas, U. S. Schwarz
CellNetworks People: Schwarz Ulrich
Journal: In W. Gutkowski and T. Kowalewski, editors, Mechanics of the 21st Century, page 329, Dordrecht, 2005. Springer.

We review recent theoretical work that analyzes experimental measurements of elastic interactions of biological cells with their environment. Recent experiments have shown that adhering cells exert polarized forces on substrates. The interactions of such “force dipoles” in either bulk gels or on surfaces can be used to predict the nature of self-assembly of cell aggregates and may be important in the formation of artificial tissues. Cell adhesion strongly depends on the forces exerted on the adhesion sites by the tension of the cytoskeleton. The size and shape of the adhesion regions is strongly modified as the tension is varied and we present an elastic model that relates this tension to deformations that induce the recruitment of new molecules to the adhesion region