Cooperative contractility: The role of stress fibres in the regulation of cell-cell junctions

William Ronan*, Robert M. McMeeking, Christopher S. Chen, J. Patrick McGarry, Vikram S. Deshpande

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We present simulations of cell-cell adhesion as reported in a recent study [. Liu et al., 2010, PNAS, 107(22), 9944-9] for two cells seeded on an array of micro-posts. The micro-post array allows for the measurement of forces exerted by the cell and these show that the cell-cell tugging stress is a constant and independent of the cell-cell junction area. In the current study, we demonstrate that a material model which includes the underlying cellular processes of stress fibre contractility and adhesion formation can capture these results. The simulations explain the experimentally observed phenomena whereby the cell-cell junction forces increase with junction size but the tractions exerted by the cell on the micro-post array are independent of the junction size. Further simulations on different types of micro-post arrays and cell phenotypes are presented as a guide to future experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number3
Early online date27 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

WR and PMcG acknowledge Science Foundation Ireland grant 10/RFP/ENM2960 and Short Term Travel Fellowship (STTF 11).


  • Cell-cell junctions
  • Junction force
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Myosin contractility
  • Stress fibre


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