Mechanobiology Lab

Welcome to Han Lab!

We study mechanobiology, particularly on how adherent cells can sense and respond to mechanical stiffness of the extracellular matrix. To investigate this, we have established experimental and computational frameworks for force measurement and adhesion dynamics quantification. We apply these frameworks, with cutting edge computer vision technique, on live-cell microscope images to find out fundamental mechanism underlying mechanosensation in the normal cells and the biomechanical signature in the diseased cells whose signaling has gone awry.


  • May 19, 2020: Sam Haarman, an BME-ME double-majoring undergrad, has joined the lab since October 2019, and now his info is up in People section. Welcome, Sam!
  • April 20, 2020: Sam and Katie have received URIP fellowship for 2020-2021 academic year. Congrats!
  • March 20, 2020: Undergraduate student, Katie Heusser, has joined the lab since this January, and now her info is up in People section. Welcome, Katie!
  • March 16, 2020: Shaina and Sam's proposals to SURF were accepted! Shaina will investigate collagen V's effect on cell adhesion and Sam will implement efficient 3D TFM algorithm. Congrats!
  • Jan 29, 2020: Claudia's paper about cancer detection was just published in Heliyon. Please see how computer vision helps detect sub-population of different expression of receptor marker!
  • Jan 10, 2020: Dr. Han has joined the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems as a member of the Center for Data Sciences in the College of Computing research institute.
  • Dec 4, 2020: Dr. Han has been affiliated in Mechanical Engineering at MTU as an Affiliated Assistant Professor.
  • Sep 20, 2019: Dr. Han was awarded with AREA grant (1R15GM135806-01) from NIH NIGMS with the title “Nascent Adhesion-Based Mechano-Transmission for Extracellular Matrix Stiffness Sensing”. This award will give confidence boost for our stiffness sensing project. MTU Tech Today Coverage on Sep 24 2019. Also check MTU research's Twitter ad!
  • Sep 19, 2019: Three undergraduate students, Karl Schneider, Sam Haarman and Nate Broetsman join the lab. Welcome to the lab!
  • Aug 10, 2019: Our paper, titled "Formation of talin-vinculin pre-complexes dictates maturation of nascent adhesions by accelerated force transmission and vinculin recruitment" has been published as a pre-print at BioRxiv.
  • Aug 1, 2019: Our paper, titled "Direct Arp2/3-vinculin binding is essential for cell spreading, but only on compliant substrates and in 3D" has been published as a pre-print at BioRxiv.
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