Traction force generated at focal adhesions (FAs) of cells plays an essential role in regulating various cellular functions. The force can be measured by plating cells on a flexible substrate to observe local displacement of the substrate caused by the forces (1–100 nN) [1]. Approaches employing this method include using microfabricated arrays of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) micropillars that bend by cellular traction forces [2]. If you could apply forces to individual FAs independently by actively moving micropillars, it should become a powerful tool to delineate the cellular mechanotransduction mechanisms.

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