Mechanical Principles of Cellular Self-Organization

Univ.- Prof. Dr. Sara Checa Esteban

Learn more about our research area mechanical principles of cellular self-organization.

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Cell organization in a piece of fibrilar extracellular matrix under inhomogeneous physical boundary conditions where cells have a tendency for stiff or soft environments (Cells are represented as dipoles). Contour plots of the deformation of the extracellular matrix due to cell traction forces.

Cells, the active component of tissues, are continuously interacting with their extracellular matrix (ECM) to maintain, remodel, regenerate or in some cases also degenerate tissue function and properties. Among others, mechanical interactions are fundamental in many physiological and pathological situations such as embryogenesis, wound healing, tumour invasion and connective tissue morphogenesis. We are interested in understanding the mechanical interactions between the cells and the extracellular matrix and their implications for cellular and tissue organization.


Checa S, Rausch M, Petersen A, Kuhl E, Duda G. (2014) The Emergence of Extracellular Matrix Mechanics and Cell Traction Forces as Important Regulators of Cellular Self-organization. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 14(1):1-13