Special Issue "Cell and Matrix Biomechanics in Physiology and Pathology"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Medicines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Massimo Vassalli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, U.K.
Interests: My general research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which physical forces are transduced into biologically relevant signals (mechanotransduction), and their role in the homoeostasis of key physiological processes whose alteration eventually leads to pathology or degeneration, such as in cancer or ageing (mechanobiology). Moreover, exploiting my technical background in physics and engineering, I'm also committed in developing enabling microscopy and spectroscopy tools to measure mechanical properties, image and manipulate biological objects at the level of cells and molecules (nanoengineering).
Dr. Federica Viti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Genova, Italy
Interests: My research interests mainly focus on two topics. First, cellular biomechanics, as an approach to characterize living cells and distinguish between different cells types or physio/pathological conditions. Second, bioinformatics, carrying out activities on data analysis and interpretation from omics technologies, in particular genomic and transcriptomics high-throughput approaches. In addition, I developed interests in application of technology to biological and biomedical fields, exploiting my bioengineering background

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical aspects of biological systems. In fact, cells and tissues of organisms are constantly exposed to exogenous and endogenous forces, called biomechanical cues. The term “cell and matrix biomechanics” refers to the analysis of structures and functions present and enabled at the cellular and extracellular levels that are related to those cues. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is dynamic and provides both physical and functional cues that cells perceive and respond to through the process of mechanotransduction (PMID: 23681438). Biomechanical features usually include those related to both mechanical and morphological characteristics. The interest in investigating mechanics is related to the cruciality of the forces contributing to cell and tissue fate (PMID: 29183939). On the other hand, the interest in shape relies on the fact that structure and function are tightly connected, and this is especially true in the cellular and extracellular environments. Examples of this relation are the progressive change in shape and size observed during cell differentiation processes (PMID: 24034255; PMID: 32490503), and the response of cells to different nanopatterned substrates which mimic the dynamicity of the extracellular matrix (PMID: 32170111).

This Special Issue aims to better investigate the roles, activities, and effects of forces in living cells and in their environment. We invite scientists to contribute with original research articles and literature reviews that provide insights into the complex intracellular and extracellular activities at the mechanical and morphological levels that characterize the physiological and pathological conditions. We are particularly interested in contributions that investigate advanced and translational research on the morpho-mechanical aspects of cells and tissues, which could potentially contribute, in the future, to the early diagnosis of diseases and to novel therapies. Furthermore, basic research in the field is warmly appreciated. 

Potential topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Nuclear and cellular mechanobiology in disease;
  • Tissue mechanopathology;
  • ECM involvement in physiological and pathological behaviors;
  • Mechano-oncology, mechano-immunology, and mechano-therapeutics;
  • Disease mechanobiology on chips;
  • Mechanical features of 3D in vitro models;
  • Mechanotransduction players and processes;

Prof. Dr. Massimo Vassalli
Dr. Federica Viti
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.


  • cellular mechanics
  • mechanobiology
  • tissue biomechanics
  • mechanical pathologies
  • mechanotransduction
  • ECM mechanics
  • cell-ECM interaction

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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