Challenges in tissue engineering - towards cell control inside artificial scaffolds
Control of living cells is vital for the survival of organisms. Each cell inside an organism is exposed to diverse external mechano-chemical cues, all coordinated in a spatio-temporal pattern triggering individual cell functions. This complex interplay between external chemical cues and mechanical 3D environments is translated into intracellular signaling loops. Here, we describe how external mechano-chemical cues control cell functions, especially cell migration, and influence intracellular information transport. In particular, this work focuses on the quantitative analysis of (1) intracellular vesicle transport to understand intracellular state changes in response to external cues, (2) cellular sensing of external chemotactic cues, and (3) the cells' ability to migrate in 3D structured environments, artificially fabricated to mimic the 3D environment of tissue in the human body.