Probing cell internalisation mechanics with polymer capsules†
We report polymer capsule-based probes for quantifying the pressure exerted by cells during capsule internalisation (Pin). Poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) capsules with tuneable mechanical properties were fabricated through layer-by-layer assembly. The Pin was quantified by correlating the cell-induced deformation with the ex situ osmotically induced deformation of the polymer capsules. Ultimately, we found that human monocyte-derived macrophage THP-1 cells exerted up to approximately 360 kPa on the capsules during internalisation.