Advances in Cell Mechanics

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Frontiers | Biomechanical Characterization at the Cell Scale: Present and Prospects | Physiology

A microfabricated deformability-based flow cytometer with application to malaria. Lab on a Chip , 11 6 —, Fletcher and R. Cell mechanics and the cytoskeleton. Nature , —, Franke and A. Microfluidics for miniaturized laboratories on a chip.

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ChemPhysChem , 9 15 —, Gabriele, A. Benoliel, P. Bongrand, and O. Microfluidic investigation reveals distinct roles for actin cytoskeleton and myosin ii activity in capillary leukocyte trafficking. Biophysical journal , 96 10 : —, Gallego-Perez, N. Higuita-Castro, L. Denning, J. DeJesus, K. Dahl, A. Sarkar, and D. Microfabricated mimics of in vivo structural cues for the study of guided tumor cell migration.

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From Correlated High Resolution Imaging of Single Biomolecules to Investigating Cell Mechanics

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Cell Mechanics, Volume 83

Han H. Continuous-flow deformability-based sorting of malaria-infected red blood cells.

  • Mechanics of cells and tissues.
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Handayani, D. Chiu, E. Another is single cell manipulation and force measurement by using atomic force microscopy AFM. In the technology, a microcup was attached on an apex of AFM cantilever, a target cell was picked up by using the "cup-chip", and intercellular adhesion strengths can be quantitatively measured.

These developed technologies are applied to study intercellular interactions in tumor microenvironments. Functional analysis of intermediate filament in the metastasis process of breast cancer cell Ayana Yamagishi. Intermediate filament Nestin which is one of the cytoskeletal proteins highly expresses in high metastatic cancer cell. Because recent study reported that knockdown of nestin led the decrease of metastatic ability in cancer cells, nestin is considered to be involved in the cancer cell metastasis. Therefore, we focus on nestin as a novel molecular target for inhibition of cancer metastasis and are analyzing its function by use of nestin knockout mouse breast cancer cell.

Group Introduction. MENU Subject 1. Cell Mechanics Research Group Introduction to research Cytoskeletal systems that include filamentous networks consisting of actin microfilaments, microtubules and intermediate filaments, molecular motors such as myosin and dynein, and adhesive proteins, e. High efficiency molecular delivery using nanoneedle array Structural and functional studies of the motile mechanisms of molecular motor proteins Keiko Hirose Dynein is a molecular motor that powers the motility of cilia and flagella. Such cell-generated biomechanical forces are known as traction forces exerted by cells on their underlying substrates or intercellular stresses generated between neighboring cells in a cell sheet.

While there are many cell-generated force sensing techniques available, researchers frequently utilize traction force microscopy TFM and monolayer stress microscopy MSM to compute cell-substrate traction forces and cell-cell intercellular stresses, respectively. In this short review, we will explore recent advances in TFM and MSM methods and their impact on cellular functions in vitro.

In addition, we will discuss the advantages and limitations as well as prospects of these novel methods in cell mechanics. Keywords: Mechanobiology; Cellular biomechanics; Biomechanical forces; Traction force microscopy; Monolayer stress microscopy. Living cells employ a diversity of feedback mechanisms during their lifetime and generation of biomechanical force is one of them []. Biomechanical forces at the cellular level impact biological functions of the cell such as cellular growth, development, division, adhesion, and progression of pathological processes []. In addition, biomechanical forces generated by cells such as pushing, pulling or crawling are particularly important during their physical interaction with underlying extracellular matrix ECM and with their neighboring cells [].

To quantify cell-generated biomechanical forces, researchers have developed several in vitro experimental techniques. These force sensing techniques are either force sensing at the cell-substrate level or force sensing at the intercellular level []. In recent years, traction force microscopy TFM and monolayer stress microscopy MSM methods are successfully implemented to quantify biomechanical forces at both cell-substrate level and intercellular level, respectively [,].

Although the extent of this short review will not cover all the experimental techniques used in cellular force sensing, we will summarize the concept of 2D TFM and MSM method, recent advances using these force sensing techniques, advantages and limitations of these tools and their future in the field of cellular biomechanics. The basic concept of TFM starts with computing the deformation produced by cells on a soft substrate [, 5]. Early attempts were mostly to use a thin sheet [1].

However, the non-linear response of material made quantitative evaluation complicated [1,3]. To resolve this issue, researchers started to use thin silicon films Figure 1a or polyacrylamide gels PA gels which can easily deform due to cell contractility [10,11]. Silicon films buckles under the cell and PA gel surface has immobilized fiducial markers Figure 1b which can be tracked using fluorescent microscopy techniques. With the knowledge of film movement or fiducial markers displacement from their original position, traction fields can be obtained by solving the inverse problem of elasticity theory [].

Another TFM approach is to use microfabricated pillar arrays that work as strain gauges Figure 1c and deflection of the pillars give a proportional traction readout [13]. Unlike PA gels where cells form unconstrained adhesion, this method is limited with adhesion sites due to specific pillar topology [1,3,13]. Another alternative is to use molecular force sensors where an elastic linker is connected to cell domains [14]. However, the local environment and difficulty associated with force sensors may cause errors in results [1,14].

Among all the TFM methods available in the literature, the most popular one is with PA gels where fluorescent markers generally a Phase contrast image of a human umbilical vein endothelial cell HUVEC monolayer diameter 1. Data courtesy: Steward lab from University of Central Florida.

Over the past four decades, TFM methods have been successfully implemented in cell migration, wound healing and cancer metastasis studies [,15]. A notable study with human metastatic breast, prostate, and lung cancer cell lines showed increased tractions in metastatic cancer cells compared to non-metastatic cells [16].