Do cells sense stress or strain? measurement of cellular orientation can provide a clue

Rumi De*, Assaf Zemel, Samuel A. Safran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


We predict theoretically the steady-state orientation of cells subject to dynamical stresses that vary more quickly than the cell relaxation time. We show that the orientation is a strong function of the Poisson's ratio, v, of the matrix when cell activity is governed by the matrix strain; if cell activity is governed by the matrix stress, the orientation depends only weakly on v.These results can be used to differentiate systems in which the strain or the stress determine the setpoint for the mechanosensitivity of cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)L29-L31
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Israel Science Foundation for support.

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