Imaging Force-Dependent Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Tumour Cells
Actin-based cell membrane protrusions are known to drive growth and movement of cancer cells but the mechanisms initiating these processes are poorly understood. Tumour microenvironments exhibit complex and heterogeneous forces that are emerging as important cues in controlling cytoskeletal dynamics. However, analysis of cytoskeletal dynamics in 3D matrices has proven extremely challenging due to limitations in imaging approaches. This project will combine the development of advanced microscopy with computational modeling to define the impact of force on cytoskeletal dynamics and tumour cell invasion in 3D environments. This will provide novel tools and insight into studying cancer cell behavior within more physiologically relevant settings.