Magnetic nanoparticles for the measurement of cell mechanics using force-induced remnant magnetization spectroscopy†
Cell mechanics is a crucial indicator of cell function and health, controlling important biological activities such as cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation, wound healing, and tissue integrity. Particularly, the adhesion of cancer cells to the extracellular matrix significantly contributes to cancer progression and metastasis. Here we develop magnetic nanoparticle-based force-induced remnant magnetization spectroscopy (FIRMS) as a novel method to measure cell adhesion force. Before FIRMS experiments, interactions of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with cells were investigated from a cell mechanics perspective. Subsequently adhesion force for three commonly used cancer cell lines was quantified by FIRMS. Our results indicated that the application of MNPs produced indistinguishable effects on cell viability and cell mechanical properties under experimental conditions for the FIRMS method. Then cell adhesion force was obtained, which provides force information on different cancer cell types. Our work demonstrates that MNP-based FIRMS can be applied to probe cell adhesion force and offer an alternate means for understanding cell mechanics.