Cell and tissue mechanics in cell migration

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Migrating cells generate traction forces to counteract the movement-resisting forces arising from cell-internal stresses and matrix adhesions. In the case of collective migration in a cell colony, or in the case of 3-dimensional migration through connective tissue, movement-resisting forces arise also from external stresses. Although the deformation of a stiffer cell or matrix causes larger movement-resisting forces, at the same time a larger stiffness can also promote cell migration due to a feedback between forces, deformations, and deformation speed that is mediated by the acto-myosin contractile machinery of cells. This mechanical feedback is also important for stiffness sensing, durotaxis, plithotaxis, and collective migration in cell colonies.

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