Piezo1 in mechanically treated cancer cell

Research theme

Cells and tissues constantly experience the mechanical forces from within and outside. These mechanical forces in the form of tension, compression and shear stress affect a wide variety of body processes right from embryo development to disease development later in life. Despite the progress, one of the important and yet poorly understood questions is how mechanical forces influence physiological and pathophysiological processes at the cellular and tissue level. The Mechanobiologics Lab focuses on two broad research themes in the mechanobiology field: cancer mechanobiology and stem cell mechanobiology.

Mechanical force-induced selective cancer cell killing

Cancer mechanobiology

The research in cancer mechanobiology focuses on studying and recapitulating the micro/nanoscale architecture of the cancerous tissues using microfluidic devices and biomaterial platforms. Recently the field has learnt that cancer cells are mechanosensitive and undergo apoptosis when subjected to physiologically relevant mechanical forces. Therefore, our next objective is to investigate the effect of mechanical force on cancer cells grown on the platforms mimicking in vivo microenvironment. The insight gained will be used for optimization of mechanical forces to maximize the cancer cell killing and development of therapeutic strategies and the technologies for the clinical treatment. In particular, our lab is interested in oral cancer which is the second most prevalent cancer in the Indian population.

Stem cell MEchanobiologY

The research in stem cell mechanobiology focuses on studying the effect of mechanical forces on stem cell differentiation. Such studies will guide the systematic optimization of mechanical forces to maximize the yield of differentiated cells towards a desired tissue lineage and to develop the stem cell-based therapies for clinical treatment of chronic wound healing.

Mechano-induced stem cell differentiation


Ajay Tijore, PhD

Assistant Professor
Ajay Tijore received B. Pharm degree from Pune University. He then obtained M. Tech degree in biomedical engineering from IIT Bombay. Later, he moved to Singapore to pursue a doctoral degree at NTU Singapore where he worked with Prof. Tan Lay Poh to study the role of biomechanical properties in stem cell differentiation. He then worked with Prof. Michael Sheetz at Mechanobiology Institute, NUS as a postdoc. There, he found that cancer cells are mechanosensitive and selectively killed by application of mechanical forces.  In Nov 2021, Ajay has joined the Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering where his Mechanobiologics Lab works on investigating the effect of mechanical forces on cancer cell growth and in regulating stem cell fate using custom-built microfluidic devices and micro/nanoscale biomaterials.
Ajay Tijore


Selected Publications (co-first authors, *co-corresponding authors)
1. Tijore A, Yao M, Wang Y-H, Hariharan A, Nematbakhsh Y, Doss BL, Lim CT, Sheetz Michael*, Selective killing of transformed cells by mechanical stretch, Biomaterials, 2021, 275, 120866 
2. Singh A, Tijore A*, Margadant F, Simpson C, Chitkara D, Low BC, Michael Sheetz*, Enhanced tumor cell killing by ultrasound with microtubule depolymerization, Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, 2021, e10233
3. Tijore A*, Lee BH, Mohan HKSV, Li KHH, Tan LP*, Bioactive micropatterned platform to engineer myotube-like cells from stem cells, Biofabrication, 2021, 13, 035017
4. Tijore A, Irvine SA*, Mhaisalkar P, Baisane V, Venkatraman S, Contact guidance for cardiac tissue engineering using 3D bioprinted gelatin hydrogel, Biofabrication, 2018, 10, 025003
5. Tijore A, Behr JM, Irvine SA*, Baisane V, Venkatraman S, Bioprinted gelatin hydrogel platform for smooth muscle cell contractile phenotype maintenance, Biomedical Microdevices, 2018, 20, 32
6. Tijore A, Cai P, Nai MH, Zhuyun L, Yu W, Tay CY, Lim CT, Chen X, Tan LP*, Role of cytoskeletal tension in induction of cardiomyogenic differentiation in micropatterned human mesenchymal stem cell, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2015, 4, 1399 
7. Tijore A, Hariharan S, Yu H, Lam CRI, Wen F, Tay, CY, Ahmed S, Tan LP*, Investigating the spatial distribution of integrin beta1 in patterned human mesenchymal stem cells using super-resolution imaging, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2014, 6, 15686
8. Tijore A, Wen F, Lam CRI, Tay CY, Tan LP*, Modulating human mesenchymal stem cell plasticity using micropatterning technique, PLOS One, 2014, 9, e113043 


Michael Sheetz, University of Texas Medical Branch Health, Galveston, USA
Andrew Holle, Mechanobiology Institute, NUS, Singapore

Join us

We are hiring at different levels including postdoctoral fellows and research assistants/interns. Please send me an email with application documents including brief description of your research experience and interests and CV with names and contact details of two-three references. 

PhD aspirant, please apply through IISc admission portal.

For more information about the PhD project click here  

Contact US

Email: ajaytijore@iisc.ac.in

Twitter: @AjayTijore

Address: Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering

Biological Sciences Building

Indian Institute of Science

Bengaluru, India 560012