Normal organ development, function, and repair are coordinated by interactions between the epithelium and the surrounding stromal cell populations. Cellular function and homeostasis are controlled by an array of chemical and physical cues originating from the cells themselves and from the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Both the endogenous cell population and ECM modulate and rely on the maintenance of basal level of tension within the tissue as a cue for growth and differentiation [1]. Furthermore, the loss of this tensional homeostasis is synonymous with many pathological conditions including; cancer, wound healing, and degenerative diseases [2].

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