Tensile and compressive force regulation on cell mechanosensing

Yunfeng Chen, Zhiyong Li, Lining Arnold Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Receptor-mediated cell mechanosensing plays critical roles in cell spreading, migration, growth, and survival. Dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) techniques have recently been advanced to visualize such processes, which allow the concurrent examination of molecular binding dynamics and cellular response to mechanical stimuli on single living cells. Notably, the live-cell DFS is able to manipulate the force “waveforms” such as tensile versus compressive, ramped versus clamped, static versus dynamic, and short versus long lasting forces, thereby deriving correlations of cellular responses with ligand binding kinetics and mechanical stimulation profiles. Here, by differentiating extracellular mechanical stimulations into two major categories, tensile force and compressive force, we review the latest findings on receptor-mediated mechanosensing mechanisms that are discovered by the state-of-the-art live-cell DFS technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic force spectroscopy
  • Force waveform
  • Mechanosensing
  • Receptor–ligand interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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