Navigation Links
Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
Date:8/27/2007

University of Pennsylvania researchers have designed a nanoscale system to observe and measure how individual cells react to external forces.

By combining microfabricated cantilevers and magnetic nanowire technology to create independent, nanoscale sensors, the study showed that cells respond to outside forces and demonstrated a dynamic biological relationship between cells and their environment.

The study also revealed that cells sense force at a single adhesion point that leads not to a local response but to a remote response from the cells internal forces, akin to tickling the cells elbow and watching the knee kick.

The cell senses the force that we apply and adjusts its own internal forces to compensate, Chris Chen, an associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn, said. This suggests that either the cells cytoskeleton dictates the reaction or the cell organizes a biochemical response. In either instance, cells are adapting at the microscale.

The findings prove useful to more than just an understanding of the mechanics of single cells. Physical forces play a strong role in how whole tissue grows and functions. Using the Penn system, researchers could monitor for differences in how forces are sensed or generated in normal and diseased cells. This could lead to new therapeutic drug targets and to methods for modifying how cells interact with each other.

To study the cells biomechanical response to forces, Chen and his team applied force to each cell using microfabricated arrays of magnetic posts containing cobalt nanowires interspersed amongst an array of non-magnetic posts. In the magnetic field, the posts with nanowires applied an external force to cells cultured on the tops of the posts. Nonmagnetic posts acted as sensors in which traction forces in each cell were measured. Recording the traction forces in response to such force stimulation revealed two responses: a sudden loss in contractility that occurred within the first minute of stimulation or a gradual decay in contractility over several minutes.

For both types of responses, the subcellular distribution of loss in traction forces was not confined to locations near the actuated micropost or uniformly across the whole cell but instead occurred at discrete locations along the cell periphery. Together, these data suggest that cells actively adjust their internal tension to mechanical forces arising in their microenvironment and reveal an important dynamic biological relationship between external and internal forces.

Mechanical forces contribute to many cellular functions, including changes in gene expression, proliferation and differentiation.

Applying shear or tensile stresses to cells in culture, for example, can induce changes in adhesion regulation, intracellular signaling and cell function much like internal forces do. The similarities in cellular responses to external and internal forces have led to the suggestion that both types of forces may use shared mechanotransduction pathways to convert mechanical stimuli into biochemical signals. While externally applied and internally generated forces may act independently on cells, the University of Pennsylvania team postulated and then showed that they are coupled.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@pobox.upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Bioengineers create stable networks of blood vessels
2. Rice bioengineers pioneer techniques for knee repair
3. University of Manchester makes made-to-measure skin and bones a reality using inkjet printers
4. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
5. Next Generation Body Scanner Launched By The University Of Manchester
6. Roundup®highly lethal to amphibians, finds University of Pittsburgh researcher
7. Green catalyst destroys pesticides and munitions toxins, finds Carnegie Mellon University
8. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
9. Carnegie Mellon University research reveals how cells process large genes
10. University of Delaware researchers develop cancer nanobomb
11. University of Arizona plant scientists to unravel maize genome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016   ... or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to ... its soon to be launched online site for trading ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense ... technology to an industry that is notorious for fraud. ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... 2016 Unique technology combines ... superior security   Xura, Inc. ... secure digital communications services, today announced it is working ... enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, ... authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits ... the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has ... to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class ... across 15 countries. Read More About the Class of ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... today announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in ... to explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: