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Mechanical & Aerospace EngineeringCellular Mechanobiology Laboratory

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Cellular Mechanobiology Laboratory


Discover Our Focus

The Cellular Mechanobiology Lab (CML) focuses on the role played by mechanical forces and physical constraints in cell function. Main areas of interest include cell-cell and cell-extra-cellular matrix (cell-ECM) adhesion, cell-generated forces and cell responses to external forces. Our research informs diverse areas from tissue engineering to pathophysiology.

Our research interests are:

  • Cell-cell adhesion
  • Cadherin mechanobiology
  • Traction force microscopy
  • Cell-ECM adhesion
  • Actin-adhesion interplay
  • Multi-scale mechanobiology
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Explore Our Research

CML Cover ImageResearch featured on the cover of the Biophysical Journal (Aug 2014).

Recent News

Selected Publications

  1. Dumbali, S. P., Mei, L., Qian S. and Maruthamuthu, V. (2017) Endogenous Sheet-averaged Tension within a Large Epithelial Cell Colony. J. Biomech. Eng. 139: 101008-1-5.
  2. Maruthamuthu, V. and Gardel, M. L. (2014) Protrusive Activity Modulates Changes in Cell- Cell Tension During Epithelial Cell Scattering. Biophys J. 107: 555-563.
  3. Maruthamuthu, V., Sabass, B., Schwarz, U.S. and Gardel, M.L. (2011). Cell-ECM Traction Force Modulates Endogenous Tension at Cell-Cell Contacts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108: 4708-4713.
  4. Borghi, N., Lowndes, M., Maruthamuthu, V., Gardel, M.L., and Nelson, W.J. (2010). Regulation of Cell Motile Behavior by Crosstalk between Cadherin- and Integrin-mediated Adhesions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107: 13324-13329.
  5. Maruthamuthu, V., Schulten, K., and Leckband, D.E. (2009) Elasticity and Rupture of a Multi-domain Cell Adhesion Complex. Biophys J. 96: 3005-3014.
  6. Prakasam, A.K., Maruthamuthu, V., and Leckband, D.E. (2006) Similarities between Heterophilic and Homophilic Cadherin Adhesion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 103: 15434-15439.

Collaborators

Shizhi Qian

Mounir Laroussi


  • Dr. Daniel Conway (VCU)
  • Dr. Xuefeng Wang (Iowa State)
  • Dr. Yun Chen (Johns Hopkins U.)

Facilities / Equipment

Motorized inverted fluorescence microscope, Biosafety cabinet, Cell culture incubator, Liquid nitrogen cryopreservation system, UVO cleaner.