Reciprocal interactions between cells and extracellular matrix during remodeling of tissue constructs

Tetsuro Wakatsuki, Elliot L. Elson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Cells remodel extracellular matrix during tissue development and wound healing. Similar processes occur when cells compress and stiffen collagen gels. An important task for cell biologists, biophysicists, and tissue engineers is to guide these remodeling processes to produce tissue constructs that mimic the structure and mechanical properties of natural tissues. This requires an understanding of the mechanisms by which this remodeling occurs. Quantitative measurements of the contractile force developed by cells and the extent of compression and stiffening of the matrix describe the results of the remodeling processes. Not only do forces exerted by cells influence the structure of the matrix but also external forces exerted on the matrix can modulate the structure and orientation of the cells. The mechanisms of these processes remain largely unknown, but recent studies of the regulation of myosin-dependent contractile force and of cell protrusion driven by actin polymerization provide clues about the regulation of cellular functions during remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Cell spreading
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Myosin activation
  • Tissue engineering
  • Tissue remodeling


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