Pushing, pulling, and squeezing our way to understanding mechanotransduction

Michael J. Siedlik, Victor D. Varner, Celeste M. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Mechanotransduction is often described in the context of force-induced changes in molecular conformation, but molecular-scale mechanical stimuli arise in vivo in the context of complex, multicellular tissue structures. For this reason, we highlight and review experimental methods for investigating mechanotransduction across multiple length scales. We begin by discussing techniques that probe the response of individual molecules to applied force. We then move up in length scale to highlight techniques aimed at uncovering how cells transduce mechanical stimuli into biochemical activity. Finally, we discuss approaches for determining how these stimuli arise in multicellular structures. We expect that future work will combine techniques across these length scales to provide a more comprehensive understanding of mechanotransduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology


  • Mechanical stress
  • Morphogenesis


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