Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 21: Cell Adhesion and Migration, Multicellular Systems I

BP 21.1: Hauptvortrag

Mittwoch, 18. März 2020, 09:30–10:00, HÜL 386

Cellular mechanosensing within synthetic 3D extracellular matrices — •Britta Trappmann — Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany

Cell fate decisions are influenced by many cues, which together constitute the cell microenvironment. One critical regulator is the extracellular matrix (ECM), which varies not only in composition, but also in physical properties such as stiffness. The impact of matrix stiffness on cell spreading and differentiation has been studied intensively on 2D surfaces using synthetic hydrogels, but very little is known about stiffness sensing within more complex 3D matrices.

Here, a major hurdle is to isolate the role of ECM stiffness from other matrix properties, in particular degradability. If cells are fully encapsulated, changes in bulk stiffness also influence the amount of matrix crosslinks that a cell has to cleave in order to spread and interact with its surroundings, impacting cell shape and function. Here, we have developed a sugar-based hydrogel system that offers independent control over mechanical properties, adhesive ligand density and matrix degradation rates. Using this system, we study the impact of matrix stiffness and degradability on cell spreading, mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and angiogenic sprouting. In particular, we demonstrate that matrix degradability, mechanics and adhesivity jointly control the multicellularity of 3D endothelial cell invasion.

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