Next Article in Journal
The Molecular Level Characterization of Biodegradable Polymers Originated from Polyethylene Using Non-Oxygenated Polyethylene Wax as a Carbon Source for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production
Next Article in Special Issue
Encapsulation of Oregano (Origanum onites L.) Essential Oil in β-Cyclodextrin (β-CD): Synthesis and Characterization of the Inclusion Complexes
Previous Article in Journal
3D Bioprinting and In Vitro Cardiovascular Tissue Modeling
Previous Article in Special Issue
An Approach to In Vitro Manufacturing of Hypertrophic Cartilage Matrix for Bone Repair
Article Menu
Issue 3 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Progress in Integrative Biomaterial Systems to Approach Three-Dimensional Cell Mechanotransduction

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi 127788, UAE
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi 127788, UAE
Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Yang Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gary Chinga Carrasco
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 72;
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
PDF [2706 KB, uploaded 24 August 2017]


Mechanotransduction between cells and the extracellular matrix regulates major cellular functions in physiological and pathological situations. The effect of mechanical cues on biochemical signaling triggered by cell–matrix and cell–cell interactions on model biomimetic surfaces has been extensively investigated by a combination of fabrication, biophysical, and biological methods. To simulate the in vivo physiological microenvironment in vitro, three dimensional (3D) microstructures with tailored bio-functionality have been fabricated on substrates of various materials. However, less attention has been paid to the design of 3D biomaterial systems with geometric variances, such as the possession of precise micro-features and/or bio-sensing elements for probing the mechanical responses of cells to the external microenvironment. Such precisely engineered 3D model experimental platforms pave the way for studying the mechanotransduction of multicellular aggregates under controlled geometric and mechanical parameters. Concurrently with the progress in 3D biomaterial fabrication, cell traction force microscopy (CTFM) developed in the field of cell biophysics has emerged as a highly sensitive technique for probing the mechanical stresses exerted by cells onto the opposing deformable surface. In the current work, we first review the recent advances in the fabrication of 3D micropatterned biomaterials which enable the seamless integration with experimental cell mechanics in a controlled 3D microenvironment. Then, we discuss the role of collective cell–cell interactions in the mechanotransduction of engineered tissue equivalents determined by such integrative biomaterial systems under simulated physiological conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: mechanotransduction; soft lithography; cell-matrix interactions; cell–cell interactions; cell traction force microscopy; 3D tissue mechanics mechanotransduction; soft lithography; cell-matrix interactions; cell–cell interactions; cell traction force microscopy; 3D tissue mechanics

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Liao, K.; Li, C.; Lai, A.C.; Foo, J.-J.; Chan, V. Progress in Integrative Biomaterial Systems to Approach Three-Dimensional Cell Mechanotransduction. Bioengineering 2017, 4, 72.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Bioengineering EISSN 2306-5354 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top