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Issue 14, 2014
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Ultra-soft cantilevers and 3-D micro-patterned substrates for contractile bundle tension measurement in living cells

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Abstract

Actin–myosin microfilament bundles or stress-fibers are the principal tension-generating structures in the cell. Their mechanical properties are critical for cell shape, motion, and interaction with other cells and extracellular matrix, but were so far difficult to access in a living cell. Here we propose a micro-fabricated two-component setup for direct tension measurement on a peripheral bundle within an intact cell. We used 3-D substrates made of silicon elastomer to elevate the cell making the filament bundle at its border accessible from the side, and employed an ultra-soft (spring constant 0.78 nN μm−1) epoxy-based cantilever for mechanical probing. With this setup we were able for the first time to measure the tension in peripheral actin bundles in living primary fibroblasts spread on a rigid substrate.

Graphical abstract: Ultra-soft cantilevers and 3-D micro-patterned substrates for contractile bundle tension measurement in living cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Feb 2014, accepted on 08 May 2014 and first published on 08 May 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00188E
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2539-2547

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    Ultra-soft cantilevers and 3-D micro-patterned substrates for contractile bundle tension measurement in living cells

    N. Piacentini, A. B. Verkhovsky, C. Gabella, J. Meister and B. Vianay, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 2539
    DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00188E

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