Cellular forces acting on the adhesive contacts made with the extracellular matrix (ECM) contribute significantly to cell shape, viability, signal transduction and motility. In the past two years, research has determined how cell spreading influences cell viability as well as cytoskeletal organization. The cytoskeleton generates a level of tension against the ECM that is proportional to ECM stiffness. The strength of this tension exerted against the ECM affects the migratory speed of the cell.
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