Mechanotransduction and Biophysical Regulation

Biochemical and biological factors are not the only key players in cell sensing, signal transduction and epigenetic regulation. Biophysical cues, such as mechanical forces, electrical signals, and micro/nano structures, play an equally important role. Our research goal is to gain a deeper understanding of these processes through the mechanisms of mechanotransduction and biophysical regulation, and to apply this knowledge to develop new technologies for engineering cell fate and promoting tissue regeneration. Our ongoing studies are focused on the following areas: (1) investigating the impact of mechanical forces on cell sensing, epigenetic state, and 3D chromatin reorganization, and (2) exploring the potential of electrical modulation for promoting neuromuscular regeneration.


Publication Highlights


Aug 2022

Transient nuclear deformation primes epigenetic state and promotes cell reprogramming

Nature Materials

Yang Song, Jennifer Soto, Binru Chen, Tyler Hoffman, Weikang Zhao, Ninghao Zhu, Qin Peng, Longwei Liu, Chau Ly, Pak Kin Wong, Yingxiao Wang, Amy C. Rowat, Siavash K. Kurdistani, Song Li


Nov 2020

Stretchable, dynamic covalent polymers for soft, long-lived bioresorbable electronic stimulators designed to facilitate neuromuscular regeneration.

Nature Communications. 11:5990.

Choi YS, Hsueh YY, Koo J, Yang Q, Avila R, Hu B, Xie Z, Lee G, Ning Z, Liu C, Xu Y, Lee YJ, Zhao W, Fang J, Deng Y, Lee SM, Vázquez-Guardado A, Stepien I, Yan Y, Song JW, Haney C, Oh YS, Liu W, Yun HJ, Banks A, MacEwan MR, Ameer GA, Ray WZ, Huang Y, Xie T, Franz CK, Li S*, Rogers JA*.


Mar 2020

Cell engineering: Biophysical regulation of the nucleus.


Song Y, Soto J, Chen B, Yang L, Li S.


Feb 2020

Engineering Biomaterials with Micro/Nanotechnologies for Cell Reprogramming.

ACS Nano. 14(2):1296-1318.

Fang J, Hsueh YY, Soto J, Sun W, Wang J, Gu Z, Khademhosseini A, Li S.



Biophysical regulation of epigenetic state and cell reprogramming.

Nature Materials. 12:1154-1162.

Downing T, Soto J, Morez C, Houssin T, Yuan F, Chu J, Fritz A, Patel S, Schaffer D, Li S.



The effect of matrix stiffness on the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells in response to TGF-β.

Biomaterials. 32:3921-3930.

Park JS, Chu JS, Tsou AD, Diop R, Tang Z, Wang A, Li S.