There is a need for experimental techniques that allow the simultaneous imaging of cellular cystoskeletal components with quantitative force measurements on single cells. A bioMEMS device has been developed for the application of strain to a single cell while simultaneously quantifying its force response. The prototype device presented here allows the mechanical study of a single, adherent cell in vitro. It works in a similar fashion to a displacement-controlled uniaxial tensile machine, and is calibrated using an AFM cantilever demonstrating excellent agreement with the theoretical spring constant. A single fibroblast is used here to illustrate how the device operates. The force response of the cell is seen to be linear until the onset of de-adhesion with the cell de-adhering from the cell platform at a force of approximately 1500 nN.
Citation: Biomedical Microdevices
Pub Type: Journals
bioMEMS, cell mechanics, fibroblast