Mechanical control of stem cell differentiation

Dekel Dado, Maayan Sagi, Shulamit Levenberg, Assaf Zemel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have focused on identifying the chemical and biological factors that govern the differentiation of stem cells; however, recent research has shown that mechanical cues may play an equally important role. Mechanical forces such as shear stresses and tensile loads, as well as the rigidity and topography of the extracellular matrix were shown to induce significant changes in the morphology and fate of stem cells. We survey experimental studies that focused on the response of stem cells to mechanical and geometrical properties of their environment and discuss the mechanical mechanisms that accompany their response including the remodeling of the cytoskeleton and determination of cell and nucleus size and shape.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalRegenerative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • adhesion
  • cytoskeleton
  • differentiation
  • mechanical effects
  • mechanosensitivity
  • nuclear deformation
  • stem cells


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