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MechanoSystems SIGNED

How to build a brain? Engineering molecular systems for mechanosensation and -protection in neurons

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MechanoSystems project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MechanoSystems project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MechanoSystems" about.

sound    disease    cells    material    touch    shape    prognosis    damage    connections    levels    observations    environments    human    neuropathies    imaging    limit    peripheral    transmitted    biomechanics    mechanoprotection    aging    integrate    cope    prosthetic    injury    mechanical    spinal    mathematical    modeling    specialized    optogenetic    forces    cell    signaling    detecting    lab    mechanics    cytoskeleton    molecular    deform    diseases    gap    cord    ubiquitous    signals    living    intractable    linked    influence    physiology    microfluidic    organism    nerve    pave    chaperones    failures    envision    dynamic    neuronal    neurons    elegans    small    organisms    mechanosensation    transformations    visualize    live    pathological    mechanoreceptors    yield    little    dementias    caenorhabditis    central    expertise    nervous    function    transmission    therapies    tools    critical    protein    strategies    sense    synaptic    force    treat    deformations    designed    broadly    poor    involve    stresses    neurodegenerative    movements    diseased   

Project "MechanoSystems" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Castelldefels
postcode: 8860

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Total cost 1˙829˙288 €
 EC max contribution 1˙829˙288 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-05-01   to  2022-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE CIENCIES FOTONIQUES ES (Castelldefels) coordinator 1˙829˙288.00


 Project objective

Mechanical forces are ubiquitous signals that provide critical and dynamic information about the environments around cells and organisms. Signals about touch, sound, and movements are transmitted to specialized mechanoreceptors but also deform the neuronal cytoskeleton of the central nervous system, particularly when strong forces are involved. Although failures to sense and cope with stresses are linked to human diseases including peripheral neuropathies and dementias, little is known about the connections between biomechanics and disease. A major reason for this gap is the technical challenge of detecting forces and deformations within a living cell or organism. Given the poor prognosis associated with neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord injury and neuropathies, there is a strong need to develop a better understanding of neuronal mechanics.

In the proposed work, we will define the changes in protein mechanics that contribute to pathological transformations in mechanosensation and mechanoprotection by developing a systems-level understanding of these processes in Caenorhabditis elegans. My lab will exploit our expertise in force application using microfluidic devices and state-of-the-art imaging to visualize mechanical forces in live cells during mechanosensation (Aim 1). We will integrate our observations with mathematical modeling to yield insight into how changes in material properties influence cell shape and physiology during aging of an organism (Aim 2). Over the long term, we will develop new strategies to limit mechanical damage in aging neurons using small protein chaperones and design a prosthetic optogenetic synaptic-transmission system to maintain neuronal signaling in diseased conditions (Aim 3). Broadly, I envision that the knowledge and tools designed in this work will pave the way for the development of future therapies to treat currently intractable diseases that involve changes in nerve-cell function on the molecular and systems levels.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Gisela Cabré, Aida Garrido-Charles, Miquel Moreno, Miquel Bosch, Montserrat Porta-de-la-Riva, Michael Krieg, Marta Gascón-Moya, Núria Camarero, Ricard Gelabert, José M. Lluch, Félix Busqué, Jordi Hernando, Pau Gorostiza, Ramon Alibés
Rationally designed azobenzene photoswitches for efficient two-photon neuronal excitation
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08796-9
Nature Communications 10/1 2019-12-16
2018 Holger Fehlauer, Adam L. Nekimken, Anna A. Kim, Beth L. Pruitt, Miriam B. Goodman, Michael Krieg
Using a Microfluidics Device for Mechanical Stimulation and High Resolution Imaging of C. elegans
published pages: , ISSN: 1940-087X, DOI: 10.3791/56530
Journal of Visualized Experiments 132 2019-12-16
2019 Liping He, Sarun Gulyanon, Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata, Doycho Karagyozov, Ellie S. Heckscher, Michael Krieg, Gavriil Tsechpenakis, Marc Gershow, W. Daniel Tracey
Direction Selectivity in Drosophila Proprioceptors Requires the Mechanosensory Channel Tmc
published pages: 945-956.e3, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.025
Current Biology 29/6 2019-12-16

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