CNIC Conference “Mechanical forces in physiology and disease” – November 4 -5, 2016

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General information

Mechanical forces are major determinants of the development, physiology and diseases of the cardiovascular system. Development of the heart and blood vessels are shaped by blood flow; defects of the contractile machinery induce remodeling of the myocardium leading to cardiomyopathies; vessel diameter and wall thickness are determined by the magnitude of shear stress and blood pressure, respectively; atherosclerosis occurs at regions of arteries subject to disturbed blood flow; and hypertension and vessel wall stiffness are major risk factors for myocardial infarction and stroke. In fact, mechanical forces are broadly important for many aspects of structure and function of living organisms. Changes in tissue stiffness or forces transmitted across tissues drive cell functions (proliferation, differentiation, migration or apoptosis), embryonic development, and the formation, growth and spread of tumors. Mechanical forces play also key roles in other diseases such as bone fracture, lung disease, fibrosis, and muscular disorders. Many of these mechanical effects are due to transduction of mechanical forces into biochemical signals that regulate cellular responses. Mechanobiology is currently a major area of research with many new findings reported every year and exciting opportunities for novel discoveries. Furthermore, Mechanobiology is a highly interdisciplinary field with the potential for integration of physical, engineering, biological and medical approaches to achieve both a fuller understanding of the basic science and translation into clinical advances. Hence, now is an outstanding time to bring together world experts in the different fields of Mechanobiology. This CNIC conference will create an exciting forum to exchange ideas in basic and translational research. To foster discussion and build bridges between different experimental approaches, highly complementary perspectives will be presented in the same session. We anticipate this conference will seed productive collaborative efforts to tackle key unknowns in the way mechanical forces influence biology and vice versa. We also propose an outreach activity open to the attendees and their families and society in general. More details coming soon.


  • Mechanosensing, mechanotransduction and morphogenesis
  • Novel experimental approaches in mechanobiology: from single molecules to animal models
  • Mechanical forces in the cardiovascular system
  • Mechanical forces in disease
  • Mechanical alterations of the collagen network of the myocardium in heart failure.


External organizer