A new article on T cells response to substrate elasticity in PNAS

Researchers from LAI and CINAM have joined their efforts to study how T-lymphocytes sense the mechanics of their underlying substrate in vitro, an important but poorly understood question. Using a wide range of stiffnesses for substrates covered with antibodies against T-Cell receptors, they observed that T-cell spread more on increasingly stiff substrates, until a maximal stiffness, where they start to spread less. This is reconciling apparent contradictory results from the literature. It was also observed that involvement of integrins in this process reestablish a monotonous response, as observed for non-immune cells. The observations are rationalized in terms of a simple quantitative clutch model which will be further tested.