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Issue 23, 2014
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Traction force microscopy in physics and biology

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Adherent cells, crawling slugs, peeling paint, sessile liquid drops, bearings and many other living and non-living systems apply forces to solid substrates. Traction force microscopy (TFM) provides spatially-resolved measurements of interfacial forces through the quantification and analysis of the deformation of an elastic substrate. Although originally developed for adherent cells, TFM has no inherent size or force scale, and can be applied to a much broader range of mechanical systems across physics and biology. In this paper, we showcase the wide range of applicability of TFM, describe the theory, and provide experimental details and code so that experimentalists can rapidly adopt this powerful technique.

Graphical abstract: Traction force microscopy in physics and biology

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The article was received on 04 Feb 2014, accepted on 09 Apr 2014 and first published on 09 Apr 2014

Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00264D
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 4047-4055

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    Traction force microscopy in physics and biology

    R. W. Style, R. Boltyanskiy, G. K. German, C. Hyland, C. W. MacMinn, A. F. Mertz, L. A. Wilen, Y. Xu and E. R. Dufresne, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 4047
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00264D

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