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Stretch Detectors: Modeling Contractile Forces
Stephanie Dutchen
Posted October 15, 2009

Muscles stretch and contract when we walk, and skin splits open and knits back together when we get a paper cut. These and many other kinds of tissues experience what researchers call contractile forces as they perform their everyday tasks in our bodies. To find out more about how contractile forces influence cell behavior, University of Pennsylvania bioengineer Christopher Chen and his team built a microscopic stretch-detector and compared measurements in real tissues to a computer simulation. Check out the video and podcast to hear what they learned.


See how Chen and his team explored the relationship between force and structure in a stretching tissue. [MOV, 11.9 MB]

Christopher Chen

Listen to Chen describe what's new about his team's findings and the important role computers played in the discovery. [720 KB] (Transcript)

Learn more about the work.

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This page last reviewed on November 14, 2011