The continuous evolution of 2D cell-traction forces quantification technology
2D cell-traction force quantification technology
Cells generate traction forces by interacting with the extracellular matrix (ECM) during migration, contraction, invasion, and spreading. Cell-traction forces (CTFs) are extremely small but have enormous biological effects. It has been discovered that CTFs serve a crucial role in regulating proliferation, differentiation, wound healing, morphogenesis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and tumor genesis by working together with biochemical signals to maintain a coherent framework for these processes. For the study of cell biology, it is essential to understand the possible effect of CTFs on the various cellular functions and the amount of traction forces that can be generated by cells in their various states. Currently, CTF quantification approaches are either confined to detecting numerous scattered places on the surface of cells or are severely limited in temporal and spatial resolution, both of which are critical for living cells. Obtaining a highly accurate and dynamic mapping of the force distribution across living cells in real time via a simple mathematical technique remains a significant difficulty. This perspective provides a brief overview of recent landmark advances in the measurement of two-dimensional (2D) CTFs, as well as unique ideas for future improvement.