Cellular communication and Mechanobiological cues
WG2 will study how cells react to stimuli deriving from cell-to-cell communications as well as from mechanical cues. It will evaluate the multitude of cell membrane receptors, including integrins, microcilia and mechanosensitive ion channels, which are in turn inherently coupled to the internal organization of the cytoskeleton and to adhesion to surrounding cells and ECM. The group will focus on changes in cell shape and functional state in response to cell-cell contacts. Modifications of cell adherence properties induced by the surrounding environment and local mechanical stimulation will also be studied, with the related effects on cell differentiation. Moreover, application of mechanical stimuli, such as tension, compression and fluid flow will be object of investigations carried out by WG2.