New technique allows researchers to study cell forces in 3-D: "Chen’s team solved this problem by entrapping cells in synthetic hydrogels, jelly-like substances commonly used as biomaterials for research into cell biology and tissue engineering.
Chen and his fellow researchers tracked the displacements of small fluorescent beads, placed within the matrix surrounding the cells. By generating computational models, they were able to use these displacements to accurately measure the forces generated by different cell regions as those cells moved throughout their surrounding matrix. They also gained insights into how the tip of a migrating cell advances through its environment."
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