Aims and Scope:
The field of biomechanics concerns with motion, deformation, and forces in biological systems. With the explosive progress in molecular biology, genomic engineering, bioimaging, and nanotechnology, there will be an ever-increasing generation of knowledge and information concerning the mechanobiology of genes, proteins, cells, tissues, and organs. Such information will bring new diagnostic tools, new therapeutic approaches, and new knowledges on ourselves and our interactions with our environment. It becomes apparent that biomechanics focusing on molecules, cells as well as tissues and organs is an important aspect of modern biomedical sciences. As one of the most prominent cell biologists, and President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bruce Alberts pointed out, a cell is a collection of protein machine and all biological functions of life derives from the structure and the ordered conformational changes of protein assemblies or assemblies of different cell types in a spatially orchestrated extracellular matrix (Cell, Vol. 92, 291-294, February, 1998). The aims of this journal are to facilitate the studies of the mechanics of biomolecules (including proteins, genes, cytoskeletons, etc.), cells (and their interactions with extracellular matrix), tissues and organs, the development of relevant advanced mathematical methods, and the discovery of biological secrets. As science concerns only with relative truth, we seek ideas that are state-of-the-art, which may be controversial, but stimulate and promote new ideas, new techniques, and new applications. This journal will encourage the exchange of ideas that may be seminal, or hold promise to stimulate others to new findings. The scope of the journal is thus broad-based, and includes:
Mechanical Behaviors of Biomolecules: Studies of how mechanical forces and deformation affect the conformation, binding/reaction, and transport of biomolecules. Studies of how the structural rigidity of DNA, RNA and proteins under stretching, twisting, bending and shearing affects DNA condensation, gene replication and transcription, DNA-protein/RNA-protein interactions, protein function, protein folding, protein-protein and receptor-ligand interactions. Studies of how mechanobiochemistry couples in biomolecular motors and iron channel flows. Studies of how mechanics influences subcellular structures and protein assemblies/complexes.
Mechanical Behaviors of Cells, Tissues and Organs: Studies of how cells sense mechanical forces or deformations, and transduce them into biological responses. Specifically, studies of how mechanical forces alter cell growth, differentiation, movement, signal transduction, protein secretion and transport, gene expression and regulation. Studies of how cells, tissues, and organs behave, including mixture theories, viscoelastic properties, cell and tissue growth, spreading, rounding, crawling, cell adhesion, cell cytoskeleton dynamics, cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions.
Mechanics in Chemistry and Biology: Studies of how mechanical stimulation affects chemical potentials and cell morphology to activation of signaling cascades and changes in cell phenotype. Studies of how mechanical force is transduced into a biochemical signal, how the cell changes its behavior or properties in response to external or internal stresses causing conformational changes in intracellular binding affinity, cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration, and wound healing. Studies of how mechanics and chemistry of single molecules forms the signal transduction pathways, produces mechanical signal sensation and transduction, with particular attention to their macroscopic manifestation in the cell properties, cytoskeleton rheology and tissue remodeling.
Multiscale Computational Tools: Development of simulation models and numerical methods for the analysis, modeling, and prediction of the biomechanical behaviors and function of single cells (and their extracellular matrix) and biomolecules. Methodologies include Molecular and Langevin dynamics of biomolecules and Mesoscopic modeling techniques, multi-spatial and-time-scale modeling methodologies, and seamless coupling of nano-micro-macro computational models.
Experimental Biomechanics Methods: Development of experimental techniques to study the mechanical behavior of cells including local probes to deform a portion of the cell, mechanical deformation of a single cell, and simultaneous mechanical stressing of a population of cells. Methods for single-molecule biomechanics studies include attaching, positioning and manipulating of single molecules, imaging and measuring deformation, and applying simple or combined loads.