Research at the MBI

At the Mechanobiology Institute we are exploring the effects of structural micro-environments and force-induced deformations on molecules, cells and tissues in several different contexts, including the differentiation of stem cells and cancer cell pathology. The field of mechanobiology arose from the cross-roads of multiple disciplines including; cell and molecular biology, engineering, physics and computer science. New technologies such as high resolution time-lapse microscopy and micro-scale devices have vastly enhanced the study of mechanobiology, by enabling the description of complex functions at the sub-micrometer level. Learn more about research at the MBI.

Latest publications

Mechanobiology of Collective Cell Migration. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, March 2015

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published March 1st, 2015

By Thuan Beng Saw1, Shreyansh Jain2, Benoit Ladoux2,3, Chwee Teck Lim1,2,4 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. March 2015. 8(1):3-13. doi:10.1007/s12195-014-0366-3 Abstract Collective cell migration (CCM) can be described as a large scale coordinated movement of cells that are in close proximity with each other. It is a phenomenon that is observed not only in physiological processes such as…

Cyclic stretching of soft substrates induces spreading and growth. Nature Communications, February 2015.

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published February 23rd, 2015

By Yidan Cui1, Feroz M. Hameed1, Bo Yang1, Kyunghee Lee1, Catherine Qiurong Pan1, Sungsu Park2 & Michael Sheetz3 Nature Communications. February 2015. 6. 6333. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7333. Abstract In the body, soft tissues often undergo cycles of stretching and relaxation that may affect cell behaviour without changing matrix rigidity. To determine whether transient forces can substitute for a…

Aggregation-fragmentation model of robust concentration gradient formation. Physical Review E, February 2015.

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published February 22nd, 2015

By Saunders TE1. Physical Review E. February 2015. 91(2). 022704. Abstract Concentration gradients of signaling molecules are essential for patterning during development and they have been observed in both unicellular and multicellular systems. In subcellular systems, clustering of the signaling molecule has been observed. We develop a theoretical model of cluster-mediated concentration gradient formation based…

Plasmodium vivax: restricted tropism and rapid remodeling of CD71-positive reticulocytes. BLOOD

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published February 19th, 2015

By Benoit Malleret1,2, Ang Li3, Rou Zhang1, Kevin S. W. Tan1, Rossarin Suwanarusk2, Carla Claser2, Jee Sun Cho1, Esther Geok Liang Koh4, Cindy S. Chu5,6, Sasithon Pukrittayakamee7, Mah Lee Ng1, Florent Ginhoux2, Lai Guan Ng2, Chwee Teck Lim3, François Nosten5,6, Georges Snounou8,9, Laurent Rénia2 and Bruce Russell1 Blood, Feb 2015,125(8):1314-24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-08-596015 Abstract Plasmodium vivax merozoites only…

Stability and Kinetics of c-MYC Promoter G-Quadruplexes Studied by Single-Molecule Manipulation. JACS

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published February 13th, 2015

By Huijuan You1 , Jingyuan Wu2, Fangwei Shao2, and Jie Yan1,3,4 J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Feb 13. doi: 10.1021/ja511680u. Abstract A DNA G-quadruplex (G4) formed at the oncogene c-MYC promoter region functions as a gene silencer. Due to its high stability at physiological K+ concentrations, its thermodynamics and kinetic properties have not been characterized in physiological…

Concerted modulation of paxillin dynamics at focal adhesions by deleted in liver cancer-1 and focal adhesion kinase during early cell spreading. CYTOSKELETON

By steve wolf | Published February 6th, 2015

Shelly Kaushik1,2, Archna Ravi1,2, Feroz M. Hameed2 andBoon Chuan Low1,2 Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2014 Nov 28. doi: 10.1002/cm.21201 Abstract Deleted in Liver Cancer-1 (DLC1) is a RhoGTPase-activating protein (GAP) and a tumor suppressor often downregulated in cancers. It is localized to the focal adhesions (FAs) and its absence leads to enhanced cell migration, invasion, and metastasis….

Actomyosin bundles serve as a tension sensor and a platform for ERK activation. EMBO REPORTS,

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published February 4th, 2015

By Hiroaki Hirata1, Mukund Gupta1, Sri Ram Krishna Vedula1, Chwee Teck Lim2, Benoit Ladoux3, Masahiro Sokabe4 EMBO reports. Feb 2015. 16(2):250-7. doi: 10.15252/embr.201439140 Abstract Tensile forces generated by stress fibers drive signal transduction events at focal adhesions. Here, we report that stress fibers per se act as a platform for tension-induced activation of biochemical signals. The…

Mechanics of epithelial closure over non-adherent environments. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

By Sruthi Jagannathan | Published January 22nd, 2015

By Sri Ram Krishna Vedula1, Grégoire Peyret2, Ibrahim Cheddadi3, Tianchi Chen1, Agustí Brugués4, Hiroaki Hirata1, Horacio Lopez-Menendez5, Yusuke Toyama6, Luís Neves de Almeida3, Xavier Trepat7, Chwee Teck Lim8, and Benoit Ladoux9 Nature Communications, January 2015, 6:6111. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7111 Abstract The closure of gaps within epithelia is crucial to maintain its integrity during biological processes such as…

Epidermal Growth Factor Activates RhoGAP Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 via Focal Adhesion Kinase and Protein Phosphatase 2A. THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY

By Andrew Wong | Published January 12th, 2015

By Archna Ravi1,2, Shelly Kaushik1,2, Aarthi Ravichandran2, Catherine Qiurong Pan2 and Boon Chuan Low1,2 * J Biol Chem. 2014 Dec 18. pii: jbc.M114.616839 Abstract Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 (DLC1) is a Rho GTPase-activating protein (GAP) that negatively regulates Rho. Through its GAP activity it modulates actin cytoskeleton network and focal adhesion (FA) dynamics, ultimately leading to…

Organic nanoparticles with aggregation-induced emission for tracking bone marrow stromal cells in the rat ischemic stroke model. CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS

By Andrew Wong | Published January 8th, 2015

By Kai Lia, Mie Yamamotobc, Su Jing Chanb, Mun Yee Chiamc, Wei Qind, Peter Tsun Hon Wong*b, Evelyn King Fai Yim*cef, Ben Zhong Tangdg and Bin Liu*ah Chem Commun (Camb). 2014 Dec 14, doi: 10.1039/c4cc06921h. Abstract Organic nanoparticles (NPs) with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) have been successfully used for tracking bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) in rats with…