Cells in the body are exposed to irregular mechanical stimuli. Here, we review the so-called fluctuation-driven mechanotransduction in which stresses stretching cells vary on a cycle-by-cycle basis. We argue that such mechanotransduction is an emergent network phenomenon and offer several potential mechanisms of how it regulates cell function. Several examples from the vasculature, the lung, and tissue engineering are discussed. We conclude with a list of important open questions.
This study was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants HL-098976, HL-111745, and HL-122513.
No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the author(s).
- ©2016 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.