Mechanomics and physicomics in gravisensing

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    Sensing gravity by ‘non-specialized’ cells is still puzzling. We don’t know where or by which mechanism such cells sense gravity. These questions in ‘gravisensing’ are not much different from questions in general mechanobiology. Numerous studies have been reported in this field in the last couple of decades. What are the mechanical properties of a cell? Are there differences in mechanical properties between cell types and if so why? How are forces perceived and transduced to a meaningful biological event. Novel techniques such as optical and magnetic tweezers, atomic force microscopy, magnetophoresis and computer modeling make the field of mechano-sensing or perhaps physicomics accessible. A similar approach should also be applied for gravity-related research. This paper addresses the current techniques used in mechanosensing and exemplifies how a cell could sense the relatively weak force of gravity.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)159-167
    JournalMicrogravity Science and Technology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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