Mechanical microenvironment as a key cellular regulator in the liver

  • Zhifeng You
  • Lyu Zhou
  • Wenjing Li
  • Chenyu HuangEmail author
  • Yanan DuEmail author
Review Paper


Tissue stiffness, shear stress, and interstitial pressure constitute major factors of the liver mechanical microenvironment that play a key regulatory role in controlling cell behavior in the liver and progression of liver diseases. In this review, we focus on the characteristics of the liver mechanical microenvironment and summarize cellular responses to mechanobiological changes during liver pathogenesis, especially in hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis. A better understanding of the indispensable contribution of mechanical cues to liver homeostasis and pathogenesis is essential for identifying new therapeutic targets for liver diseases such as hepatic fibrosis or cirrhosis.


Tissue stiffness Shear stress Interstitial pressure Cell response Hepatic fibrosis 



This work was financially supported in part by the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant 7162210) and National Key R&D Program of China (Grant 2016YFC1000810).


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© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious DiseasesTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology, Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, School of Clinical MedicineTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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