The biophysics of the cell and its microenvironment strongly impact on cell functioning and fate, an aspect that was long-neglected in cell biology, compared to the extensively studied biochemical influences. In recent years, it became evident that cells possess a remarkable capacity to sense physical cues of the extracellular matrix, namely its rigidity and nanotopography. An intricate not yet fully understood signalling pathway, called mechanotransduction, translates this microenvironmental information into cellular responses, particularly during cell differentiation. We use supersonic cluster beam deposition to fabricate nano-bio-interfaces with controllable nanotopographies that closely resemble those found in extracellular matrices. Several research lines are active within this general framework.
Related research lines: