Nanobiomechanics: Theoretical Modelling and Computational Simulation

Liu, K.K., Li, C., Foo, J.J. (Main Author) and Hak, H.P.Y. , Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine (Open Special Issue, Guest Editor), 2013

Biomechanical forces are the vital bridge that regulates and controls several aspects of cellular activities, from shape determination of single cells, hierarchical organization of cell division to cancer cells metastasis. The deformation and stresses on cells, mechanical or nonmechanical, are found to modulate, and occasionally dominate, their ultimate behavior. Recent advances in nanotechnologies, combined with high performance computing (HPC) systems, allow the development of new experimental protocols, including theoretical modeling and computational simulation. Innovative nano-/microscopic technologies, such as three-dimensional (3D) confocal imaging, optical (laser) tweezers, traction force microscopy, and atomic force microscopy, enable the imaging, probing, and tracking of single cellular entity and protein-protein interactions at a high speed, high spatial temporal resolutions. As such, enormous experimental data are generated for identifying and characterizing the mechanical properties of various functional proteins and cellular membranes. By working in tandem with these imaging techniques, mathematical modeling, or numerical simulation will be critical to provide a clearer picture on the cell mechanics and adhesion as an essential diagnostic marker with a solid molecular foundation.This special issue is particularly focused on (i) the structural analysis of a cell in static (cell shape), (ii) temporary fluctuating and expanding (cell division), and (iii) dynamically active in motion (cell migration). These are likely to be dependent on the correlation between cellular membranes, cytoskeletal molecules, and also the motor proteins. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: Diseases on flexibility and shape of cells (e.g. hereditary spherocytosis and hereditary elliptocytosis); Dynamic of cancer cell metastasis and migration; Cellular mechanobiology; Motility of filaments and motor proteins upon cell division; Single cell mechanics and adhesion; Cell-matrix interactions; Cytoskeletal mechanics.


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