• Article |

    Directed cell movement known as durotaxis, typically associated with cellular migration in response to a substrate gradient of increasing stiffness, is now shown to also occur in the opposite direction, following a gradient of decreasing stiffness.

    • Aleksi Isomursu
    • , Keun-Young Park
    •  & David J. Odde
  • Article |

    Programmable triangular DNA blocks self-assemble into distinct icosahedral shells with specific geometry and apertures that can encapsulate viruses and decrease viral infection.

    • Christian Sigl
    • , Elena M. Willner
    •  & Hendrik Dietz
  • Article |

    The basement membrane stiffness is shown to be a more dominant determinant than pore size in regulating cancer cell invasion, metastasis formation and patient survival. This stiffness is now known to be affected by the ratio of netrin-4 to laminin, with more netrin-4 leading to softer basement membranes.

    • Raphael Reuten
    • , Sina Zendehroud
    •  & Janine T. Erler
  • Article |

    Atomic force microscopy indentation measurements of cells cultured on soft substrates may result in an underestimation of cell stiffness. A model has now been developed that takes this soft substrate effect into account, revealing that cortical cell stiffness is largely independent of substrate mechanics.

    • Johannes Rheinlaender
    • , Andrea Dimitracopoulos
    •  & Kristian Franze
  • Article |

    Protein channels are highly selective, but application in membranes is limited due to low protein content. Here, protein channels are embedded into block copolymers to form nanosheets using rapid solvent casting, with better water permeability and similar molecular exclusions relative to other membrane systems.

    • Yu-Ming Tu
    • , Woochul Song
    •  & Manish Kumar
  • Article |

    A mechanism of cell response to localized tension shows that syndecan-4 synergizes with EGFR to elicit a mechanosignalling cascade that leads to adaptive cell stiffening through PI3K/kindlin-2 mediated integrin activation.

    • Antonios Chronopoulos
    • , Stephen D. Thorpe
    •  & Armando E. del Río Hernández
  • Article |

    A range of cancer cell types are shown to lack rigidity-sensing due to alteration in specific cytoskeletal sensor proteins and this sensing ability can be reversed from a transformed to a rigidity-dependent growth state by the sensor proteins, resulting in restoration of contractility and adhesion.

    • Bo Yang
    • , Haguy Wolfenson
    •  & Michael P. Sheetz
  • Article |

    Integrin-mediated adhesions required for cell spreading and growth have now been shown, using super-resolution microscopy, to form on fibrous matrices through the dense assembly of integrins in nanoclusters that contain both ligand-bound and unliganded integrins.

    • Rishita Changede
    • , Haogang Cai
    •  & Michael P. Sheetz
  • Article |

    Epithelial tissues behave as pre-tensed viscoelastic sheets that can buffer against compression and rapidly recover from buckling. Epithelial mechanical properties define a tissue-intrinsic buckling threshold that dictates the compressive strain above which tissue folds become permanent.

    • Tom P. J. Wyatt
    • , Jonathan Fouchard
    •  & Guillaume T. Charras
  • Article |

    Femtosecond laser pulses can induce local bulging or plasma ablation of silk with limited structural damage, thus offering a technique for cutting, patterning, bending and welding of silk with various other materials.

    • Mehra S. Sidhu
    • , Bhupesh Kumar
    •  & Kamal P. Singh
  • Article |

    Increased cellular expression of RAB5A, an important regulator of endocytic processes, brings epithelial cells from a jammed state to coordinated motion, and can facilitate wound closure, gastrulation and migration in constrained environments.

    • Chiara Malinverno
    • , Salvatore Corallino
    •  & Giorgio Scita
  • Letter |

    Experiments and theory show that plastic energy dissipation during cell deformation is linked to elastic cytoskeletal stresses.

    • Navid Bonakdar
    • , Richard Gerum
    •  & Ben Fabry
  • Article |

    A polymeric protein complex consisting of a newly identified magnetoreceptor protein and known magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes exhibits spontaneous alignment in magnetic fields.

    • Siying Qin
    • , Hang Yin
    •  & Can Xie
  • Article |

    Somatic cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells biochemically through the expression of a few transcription factors. It is now shown that aligned microgrooves or nanofibres on cell-adhesive substrates can promote the reprogramming of somatic cells more efficiently through epigenetic regulation of genes related to pluripotency and the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. The findings suggest that the epigenetic state can be regulated by variations in cell morphology.

    • Timothy L. Downing
    • , Jennifer Soto
    •  & Song Li