As the basic units of life, cells with their internal structures are on one hand in tightly maintained homeostasis but are on the other hand very dynamic and adaptive to external signals. Embedded in their native microenvironment, cells perceive and process signals of physical and chemical nature.
These signals cooperatively regulate the cells’ function and integrity. Although a detailed knowledge of the interactions between cells and their surroundings is of fundamental importance in biology, medicine or applied technologies many elementary mechanisms are not fully understood. To elucidate such mechanisms and to explore their capability in applied fields, we make use of novel materials, micro-fabrication techniques, mechanical manipulations methods, and light microscopy.