Cellular Mechanobiology Lab

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

The paper on vinculin’s role in inter-cellular force transmission has been highlighted by the Biophysical Society.

  1. Mezher, M., Dumbali, S., Fenn, I., Lamb, C., Miller, C., Sharmin, S., Cabe, J. I., Bejar-Padilla, V., Conway, D., and Maruthamuthu, V. (2023) Vinculin is Essential For Sustaining Normal Levels of Endogenous Forces at Cell-Cell Contacts. Biophys J. 122, 4518-4527.

  2. Eftekharjoo, M.*, Mezher, M.*, Siddharth, C., and Maruthamuthu, V. (2022) Epithelial Cell-like Elasticity Modulates Actin-Dependent E-cadherin Adhesion Organization. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 8, 2455-62.

  3. Bashirzadeh, Y., Dumbali, S., Qian S. and Maruthamuthu, V. (2019) Mechanical response of an epithelial island subject to uniaxial stretch on a hybrid silicone substrate. Cell. Mol. Bioeng. 12, 33-40.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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

  • Motorized inverted fluorescence microscope
  • Biosafety cabinet
  • Cell culture incubator
  • Liquid nitrogen cryopreservation system
  • UVO cleaner
  • DMD Pattern Illuminator
  • Cell/hydrogel nanoindentor