Traction forces that cells generate play an important role in their interactions with the local environment. Cells use actin polymerization and myosin contraction to indirectly transmit cytoskeletal tension to their adhesions in order to provide stability for active spreading, pull themselves forward during migration, and probe the matrix rigidity. Interestingly, there is developing evidence to show that cells regulate their traction forces in response to feedback they obtain from mechanical factors in their environment like stiffness, geometry, and adhesivity [1,2]. What is unclear is to what extent are mechanical factors and biological interactions interdependent. Consequently, the aim of this paper is to examine the coupled influence of two main regulators of traction forces: substrate stiffness and cell spreading area.

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