Chapter 10: Curvature Mechanobiology
Published:12 Aug 2022
Quantitative understanding of how cells sense their surrounding physical environment and how that environment determines their fate will be indispensable for designing cell-culture scaffolds for regenerative medicine in the future. Supported by the rapid progress of microfabrication technologies, recent studies in mechanobiology have revealed that even relatively gentle curvatures in the surface of adjacent material, with radii greater than 100 µm, in fact have a considerable influence on various cellular behaviours such as migration, proliferation, and even differentiation. In this chapter, we highlight surface curvature as an emerging significant parameter in the design of biomaterials. We first introduce microfabrication techniques for engineering curved surfaces. We then review recent findings on how such curvatures—with radii much larger than single-cell scale—are translated into unique cellular behaviour from the viewpoints of both molecular biology and biophysics.