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Special Issue "Cancer Biophysics: Recent Advances in the Mechanobiology and Mechanomedicine of Cancer"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Oncology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2023 | Viewed by 182

Special Issue Editor

1. School of Biological and Medical Physics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (National Research University), 141701 Dolgoprudny, Russia
2. Institute of Cell Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142290 Pushchino, Russia
Interests: cancer; cancer stem cells; mechanobiology; DNA damage response; cytoskeletal/microfilament stress; tumor-repopulating cells; tumor cell softness/deformability; tumor dormancy and reactivation; extracellular vesicles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over recent decades, mechanobiology, as a branch of biomechanics and/or a branch of biology, has reached a mature stage mainly because of the significant technological and methodological advances at the cellular, subcellular, and molecular levels and the need to disclose the mechanical basis of biology. The application of mechanobiology to medicine (mechanomedicine) may help advance human health and improve the diagnostics, treatment, and therapeutics of cancer.

As the main extracellular mechanical signal carriers, extracellular matrix stiffness, fluid shear stress (viscosity), and compression/tension stress may influence cancer progression through biomechanical transduction to modify the downstream gene expression, promote epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and regulate the stemness of cancer cells. Modulating cytoskeletal stress regulates the tumorigenesis and metastasis of tumor-repopulating cells (TRC), and elevates the drug delivery efficiency of soft-tumor-cell-derived microparticles. It is increasingly understood that cytoskeletal/intermediate filament stress is the governing principle and the cellular hallmark in mechanobiology. The model of soft tumor cells such as TRCs that are undifferentiated or partially differentiated, being the primary cause of tumor metastasis, needs to be explored in the future. Myosin-II-dependent cytoskeletal stress might mediate the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) by tumor cells, whereas a soft microfilament cytoskeleton is perhaps more suitable for drug-containing EVs via their high deformability. A better mechanical understanding of the physical properties of naturally occurring niches is also needed; imaginably, there are key regions of tumors that are soft, fibrin-rich, and harboring TRCs, and perhaps the biophysical traits of appropriate cell types can be partly reprogrammed with biomaterials. By any means, the idea that soft matrices can help isolate and/or propagate TRCs is outstanding.

The scope of the current Special Issue revolves around expanding the current knowledge and advances in understanding the impact of forces and mechanics on the functions and fate of cancer stem cells and the pathways of mechanotransduction in tumor and tumor microenvironment cells. Approaches for treating patients using mechanobiology-derived strategies are just emerging. The mechanomedicine, including mechanobiology-based tools and strategies needed to diagnose and treat patients, can be developed by outside-the-box thinking that that invite for our Special Issue. Experimental studies and review articles are welcome for consideration.

Prof. Dr. Sergey V. Leonov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cancer
  • cancer stem cells
  • mechanobiology
  • mechanomedicine
  • extracellular matrix stiffness
  • fluid shear stress (viscosity)
  • tumor cell softness/deformability
  • cytoskeletal/intermediate filament stress
  • biomimetic culture systems
  • tumor dormancy and reactivation
  • metastasis
  • microfilaments
  • extracellular vesicles
  • biomaterial-based cancer vaccine technology
  • tumor-cell-derived chemotherapeutic microparticle technology
  • DNA damage response
  • transcriptomics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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