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:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled ... medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts from Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, ... a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just ... now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue or body fluids ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers ... the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of ... beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: