Cell traction forces (CTFs) are the forces produced by cells and exerted on extracellular matrix or an underlying substrate. CTFs function to maintain cell shape, enable cell migration, and generate and detect mechanical signals. As such, they play a vital role in many fundamental biological processes, including angiogenesis, inflammation, and wound healing. Therefore, a close examination of CTFs can enable better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of such processes. To this end, various force-sensing techniques for CTF measurement have been developed over the years. This article will provide a concise review of these sensing techniques and comment on the needs for improved force-sensing technologies for cell mechanics and biology research
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