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Mechanobiology seeks to understand how cells integrate their biomechanics into their function and behavior. Unravelling the mechanisms underlying these mechanobiological processes is particularly important for immune cells in the context of the dynamic and complex tissue microenvironment. However, it remains largely unknown how cellular mechanical force generation and mechanical properties are regulated and integrated by immune cells, primarily due to a profound lack of technologies with sufficient sensitivity to quantify immune cell mechanics. In this review, we discuss the biological significance of mechanics for immune cells across length and time scales, and highlight several experimental methodologies for quantifying the mechanics of immune cells. Finally, we discuss the importance of quantifying the appropriate mechanical readout to accelerate insights into the mechanobiology of the immune response.

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biomechanics, force, immune response, mechanobiology, quantitative technology