Physical limits to biomechanical sensing in disordered fibre networks

45Citations
Citations of this article
83Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

Cells actively probe and respond to the stiffness of their surroundings. Since mechanosensory cells in connective tissue are surrounded by a disordered network of biopolymers, their in vivo mechanical environment can be extremely heterogeneous. Here we investigate how this heterogeneity impacts mechanosensing by modelling the cell as an idealized local stiffness sensor inside a disordered fibre network. For all types of networks we study, including experimentally-imaged collagen and fibrin architectures, we find that measurements applied at different points yield a strikingly broad range of local stiffnesses, spanning roughly two decades. We verify via simulations and scaling arguments that this broad range of local stiffnesses is a generic property of disordered fibre networks. Finally, we show that to obtain optimal, reliable estimates of global tissue stiffness, a cell must adjust its size, shape, and position to integrate multiple stiffness measurements over extended regions of space.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Beroz, F., Jawerth, L. M., Münster, S., Weitz, D. A., Broedersz, C. P., & Wingreen, N. S. (2017). Physical limits to biomechanical sensing in disordered fibre networks. Nature Communications, 8. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms16096

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free