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International Helmholtz Research School
of Biophysics and Soft Matter

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Cell adhesion and migration
Living cells are the basic building blocks of higher organisms. In order to create organs and tissues the cells need to anchor themselves in the right locations. The anchoring is regulated by the cytoskeleton as well as by the focal complexes that are special adhesion structures and consist of up to 100 proteins. Via transmembrane proteins, the integrins, the focal complexes attach the actin cytoskeleton of the cell to the extracellular matrix. The huge variability of integrins and matrix molecules crucially determines the adhesion capabilities of the cells. We study basic mechanical processes, in particular cell adhesion, migration, and assimilation to changing chemical and physical stimuli.

Rudolf Merkel

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