Numerous biophysical hypotheses invoke tissue stiffness as a key parameter for shaping tissue during development and for influencing cell behaviours during disease progression. However, currently available methods are insufficient to test hypotheses that concern the physical properties of bulk tissues. Here we introduce, validate and apply a new 3D magnetic device that generates a uniform magnetic field gradient within a space that is sufficient to accommodate a vertebrate, organ-stage embryo under live conditions. The device allows for rapid, nontoxic measurement of the spatial variation of absolute elastic modulus and viscosity deep within mesenchymal tissues and within epithelia. By applying the device to map the spatiotemporal variation of viscoelastic properties within the early mouse limb bud, we identified an anteriorly biased mesodermal stiffness gradient along which cells move collectively to shape the early bud. Tissue stiffness corresponds to the nascent expression domain of fibronectin that is Wnt5a-dependent. The findings challenge the notion that Wnt5a regulates cell movements by chemotaxis, and raises the possibility that Wnt5a modifies the tissue microenvironment to promote durotaxis in vivo. Importantly, the ability to precisely measure tissue stiffness in 3D has the potential to instigate and refine mechanisms of development and disease progression.
- Downloaded 1,302 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 20,023
- In developmental biology: 319
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 21,887
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 70,115
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!