PerspectiveCell Biology

Stretching Is Good for a Cell

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Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1345

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[HN1] The shape of a cell within its tissue is determined by a fibrous network called the extracellular matrix. In this issue, Chen et al. manipulate the shapes of cells with microfabricated patterns of extracellular matrix dots and show that cells grow better when they are stretched and flattened than when they are plump and round. In his Perspective, Ruoslahti explains how cell surface molecules, the integrins, may participate in this effect and what this means for tissue repair and regulation.