It has long been recognized that the stiffness and topography, as well as the biochemical composition of the extracellular environment play a determinant role in cell migration as well as in many other cellular processes such as cell growth and proliferation [1,2]. In the past decade, there has been an increasing number of studies that elucidate key biological processes (cytoskeletal rheology, actin polymerization dynamics, and contractility) regulating the shape changes and traction stresses controlling cell migration [3–7].

The cytoskeleton is connected through distributed adhesions to the substrate and produces the traction forces required for migration by the coordination of actin polymerization and contractility of motor proteins [8]. The transmission of traction forces through the adhesion molecular complexes allows the cell to probe the extracellular environment, a process known as mechanosensing or mechanotransduction [9,10]....

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