William J. Tyler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Mechanical forces regulate many aspects of cellular function. Mechanobiological descriptions of cellular function in the nervous system have remained somewhat scarce until recently. Up until about the past decade, our understanding of neuroscience and nervous system function had grown through knowledge gained from electrophysiological, molecular, and genetic studies. It has long been recognized, however, that nervous system function is sensitive to mechanical perturbations. While the methods and approaches for studying neuronal function are plentiful, specific tools for investigating how mechanical forces influence neuronal activity and plasticity have not been available until recently. The field of mechanobiology, however, has grown significantly over the past couple decades and has provided detailed quantitative insights into how mechanical forces regulate biological homeostasis and physiology by cooperating with classical signaling mechanisms in nonneuronal cells. The scientific insights and technical methods gained from the study of mechanobiology have begun to enable the development of improved methods and approaches for the study and treatment of the nervous system. The intersection of neuroscience and mechanobiology has led to the emergence of the subdiscipline of neuromechanobiology. The importance of micromechanical forces in neuronal signaling and brain function is only beginning to become realized. This chapter provides an account of the mechanical properties of neuronal cells and their networks. Implications of these features for neuronal physiology are discussed to emphasize a need for better understanding the role of cellular mechanics in nervous system function and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMechanobiology in Health and Disease
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128129524
ISBN (Print)9780128129531
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Brain
  • Brain injury
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Ion channel
  • Mechanical force
  • Neuroscience
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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