Physical constraints for muscle cell differentiation

Muscles are based on a fascinating architecture starting from the single protein unit to the bundles of aligned myotubes that are syncitial cells formed from the fusion of thousands of precursor. This step is at the heart of our research interest. We try to reproduce it by forcing cell alignement using a stretcher that extend a multicellular aggregates up to 50%.

Magnetic cells are trapped between two magnets, one of them being mobile. The displacement of this magnet drive the alignment and so on the differentiation. Periodic stimulations drive stem cells to cardiac progenitor differentiation [1].

[1] Du V. et al. (2017) Nat. Comm.