Qi Wen  assistant Professor, Physics


I am interested in investigating the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix (ECM) of tissue cells.

Both the cytoskeleton and ECM are composed biological polymers. The cytoskeleton of cells is a composite network of cytoskeletal filaments such as actin, microtubule, and intermediate filaments. The ECM is mainly composed of collagen fibers. These biological polymer networks has unique properties comparing to the synthetic polymer gels. One primary goal of my research is to find out the physical mechanism for the unique mechanical properties of the biological polymer networks.

More interestingly, the crosstalk between the cytoskeleton and ECM enables tissue cells “measure” and “respond” to the mechanical properties of their ECM. It has been observed that many cellular properties such as morphology, migration and differentiation are regulated by ECM stiffness. The ability of ECM to regulate cell function creates a new dimension for wound healing, tissue engineering and tumor treatment. How cells “measure” the stiffness has been a hot topic in the recent years for the fields of biology, engineering and physics, and still remains unclear. The second goal of my research will be exploring how the extracellular matrix remodel the cell cytoskeleton and regulate cell migration, adhesion, and differentiation

For More information, please visit my lab web.


      Olin Hall 213A

      Gateway Park 3006






Please visit my teaching web for notes of the courses I am currently teaching