The area of cell spreading has been proven to be critical to a cell’s fate, and direct physical connections between integrins, cytoskeleton, and the nucleus have been found [1]. We investigate the cell adhesion-cytoskeleton-nucleus mechanical pathway using experimental and theoretical tools. We measured changes in adhesion area and corresponding elliptical projected nuclear stretches caused by disruption of cell adhesions with trypsin. For our analysis, we treated the nucleus as an incompressible, neo-Hookean material. Using our measurements of the two-dimensional nuclear stretches, we calculated the stretch in the normal direction. We then estimated the strains of the nuclear deformation, and used these to estimate the cytosolic/cytoskeletal pressure and tangential forces that act upon the nucleus. Comparing our estimates of the internal forces acting on the nucleus to measurements of cell surface traction force in the literature, both are on the same order of magnitude.

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