Kristian Franze

University position


Kristian Franze is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Home page (personal home page)

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to investigate how cellular forces, local cell and tissue stiffness and cellular mechanosensitivity contribute to CNS development and disease. Methods we are exploiting include atomic force microscopy, traction force microscopy, custom-built simple and complex compliant cell culture substrates, optogenetics and cell biological techniques.

Muller cells act as living light guides in the vertebrate retina
Muller cells act as living light guides in the vertebrate retina
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Research Focus







Clinical conditions

Foreign body reactions

Injured peripheral nerves

Spinal cord injury

Traumatic brain injury


Atomic force microscopy

Calcium imaging

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy


Open laser systems

Soft cell culture substrates

Traction force microscopy



Kevin Chalut

James Fawcett

Christine Holt

United Kingdom

Christoph Ballestrem

Associated News Items

Key publications

Koser DE, Moeendarbary E, Hanne J, Kuerten S, Franze K (2015), “CNS cell distribution and axon orientation determine local spinal cord mechanical properties.” Biophys J 108(9):2137-47 Details

Moshayedi P, Ng G, Kwok JC, Yeo GS, Bryant CE, Fawcett JW, Franze K, Guck J (2014), “The relationship between glial cell mechanosensitivity and foreign body reactions in the central nervous system.” Biomaterials 35(13):3919-25 Details

Pagliara S, Franze K, McClain CR, Wylde GW, Fisher CL, Franklin RJ, Kabla AJ, Keyser UF, Chalut KJ (2014), “Auxetic nuclei in embryonic stem cells exiting pluripotency.” Nat Mater 13(6):638-44 Details

Franze K (2013), “The mechanical control of nervous system development.” Development 140(15):3069-77 Details

Hardie RC, Franze K (2012), “Photomechanical responses in Drosophila photoreceptors.” Science 338(6104):260-3 Details

Betz T, Koch D, Lu YB, Franze K, Käs JA (2011), “Growth cones as soft and weak force generators.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(33):13420-5 Details