The Cellular and Molecular Mechanics workshop, with a focus on Enabling Technologies, is being held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from June 8 to June 19, 2009. This program is being presented in conjunction with the Global Enterprise for Micro-Mechanics and Molecular Medicing (GEM4) Summer School program. More information regarding this program can be found on its web site along with application instructions if you're interested in attending. The application deadline is March 25, 2009.
There is increasing experimental evidence suggesting that extracellular and intracellular mechanical forces have a profound influence on a wide range of cell behavior such as growth, differentiation, apoptosis, gene expression, adhesion and signal transduction. Study of cell mechanics has drawn considerable attention from diverse fields, including biology, physics, biochemistry, and bioengineering.
The studies are motivated by three primary reasons:
- Understanding mechanotransduction - how cells transduce mechanical stimuli into biochemical processes and vice versa,
- Disease detection: is there a mechanical signature for a disease state, and
- Functionality change – can cell behavior be tuned by mechanical stimuli, such as expedite growth for tissue engineering.
Recent advances in micro-nano technology offer unique opportunities for probing biological phenomena at a cellular and sub-cellular scale, and may have a profound impact on the field of cell mechanics.