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Unraveling the mechanobiology of immune cells.

  • Author(s): Zhang, Xuexiang
  • Kim, Tae-Hyung
  • Thauland, Timothy J
  • Li, Hongjun
  • Majedi, Fatemeh Sadat
  • Ly, Chau
  • Gu, Zhen
  • Butte, Manish J
  • Rowat, Amy C
  • Li, Song
  • et al.

Immune cells can sense and respond to biophysical cues - from dynamic forces to spatial features - during their development, activation, differentiation and expansion. These biophysical signals regulate a variety of immune cell functions such as leukocyte extravasation, macrophage polarization, T cell selection and T cell activation. Recent studies have advanced our understanding on immune responses to biophysical cues and the underlying mechanisms of mechanotransduction, which provides rational basis for the design and development of immune-modulatory therapeutics. This review discusses the recent progress in mechanosensing and mechanotransduction of immune cells, particularly monocytes/macrophages and T lymphocytes, and features new biomaterial designs and biomedical devices that translate these findings into biomedical applications.

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