Three-dimensional traction force microscopy of engineered epithelial tissues

Alexandra S. Piotrowski, Victor D. Varner, Nikolce Gjorevski, Celeste M. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Several biological processes, including cell migration, tissue morphogenesis, and cancer metastasis, are fundamentally physical in nature; each implicitly involves deformations driven by mechanical forces. Traction force microscopy (TFM) was initially developed to quantify the forces exerted by individual isolated cells in two-dimensional (2D) culture. Here, we extend this technique to estimate the traction forces generated by engineered three-dimensional (3D) epithelial tissues embedded within a surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). This technique provides insight into the physical mechanisms that underlie tissue morphogenesis in 3D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTissue Morphogenesis
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781493911646
ISBN (Print)9781493911639
StatePublished - Sep 22 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


  • Biomechanics
  • Engineered tissue
  • Micropatterning


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