Morphophysical dynamics of human endometrial cells during decidualization

Belen Pan-Castillo, Salvatore A. Gazze, Samantha Thomas, Christopher Lucas, Lavinia Margarit, Deyarina Gonzalez, Lewis W. Francis, Robert Steven Conlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


During decidualization, human mesenchymal-like endometrial stromal cells undergo well characterized cellular and molecular transformations in preparation for accepting a developing embryo. Modulation of cellular biophysical properties during decidualization is likely to be important in receptivity and support of the embryo in the uterus. Here we assess the biophysical properties of human endometrial stromal cells including topography, roughness, adhesiveness and stiffness in cells undergoing in vitro decidualization. A significant reduction in cell stiffness and surface roughness was observed following decidualization. These morphodynamical changes have been shown to be associated with alterations in cellular behavior and homeostasis, suggesting that localized endometrial cell biophysical properties play a role in embryo implantation and pregnancy. This cell–cell communication process is thought to restrict trophoblast invasion beyond the endometrial stroma, be essential in the establishment of pregnancy, and demonstrate the altered endometrial dynamics affecting cell–cell contact and migration regimes at this crucial interface in human reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2235-2245
Number of pages11
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Decidualization
  • Nanomechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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