Mechanical and systems biology of cancer

Fabian Spill, Chris Bakal, Michael Mak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
145 Downloads (Pure)


Mechanics and biochemical signaling are both often deregulated in cancer, leading to cancer cell phenotypes that exhibit increased invasiveness, proliferation, and survival. The dynamics and interactions of cytoskeletal components control basic mechanical properties, such as cell tension, stiffness, and engagement with the extracellular environment, which can lead to extracellular matrix remodeling. Intracellular mechanics can alter signaling and transcription factors, impacting cell decision making. Additionally, signaling from soluble and mechanical factors in the extracellular environment, such as substrate stiffness and ligand density, can modulate cytoskeletal dynamics. Computational models closely integrated with experimental support, incorporating cancer-specific parameters, can provide quantitative assessments and serve as predictive tools toward dissecting the feedback between signaling and mechanics and across multiple scales and domains in tumor progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Early online date17 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

18 pages, 3 figures


  • q-bio.CB
  • mechanobiology
  • cancer
  • mathematical biology
  • computational modelling
  • signaling
  • cytoskeletal
  • focal adhesions
  • mechanotransduction


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