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Easy and accurate mechano-profiling on micropost arrays


Goedecke, Nils; Bollhalder, Maja; Bernet, Remo; Silvan, Unai; Snedeker, Jess (2015). Easy and accurate mechano-profiling on micropost arrays. Journal of Visualized Experiments (Jove), 105:e53350.

Abstract

Cell culture substrates with integrated flexible microposts enable a user to study the mechanical interactions between cells and their immediate surroundings. Particularly, cell-substrate interactions are the main interest. Today micropost arrays are a well-characterized and established method with a broad range of applications that have been published over the last decade. However, there seems to be a reservation among biologists to adapt the technique due to the lengthy and challenging process of micropost manufacture along with the lack of easily approachable software for analyzing images of cells interacting with microposts. The force read-out from microposts is surprisingly easy. A micropost acts like a spring with the cell ideally attached at its tip. Depending on size a cell applies force from its cytoskeleton through one or multiple focal adhesion points to the micropost, thus deflecting the micropost. The amount of deflection correlates directly to the applied force in direction and in magnitude. The number of microposts covered by a cell and the post deflection patterns are characteristic and allow determination of values like force per post and many biologically relevant parameters that allow "mechano-profiling" of cell phenotypes. A convenient method for mechano-profiling is described here combining the first generation of ready-to-use commercially available microposts with an in-house developed software package that is now accessible to all researchers. As a demonstration of typical application, single images of bone cancer cells were taken in bright-field microscopy for mechano-profiling of cell line models of metastasis. This combination of commercial traction force sensors and open source software for analysis allows for the first time a rapid implementation of the micropost array technique into routine lab work done by non-expert users. Furthermore, a robust and streamlined analysis process enables a user to analyze a large number of micropost images in a highly time-efficient manner.

Abstract

Cell culture substrates with integrated flexible microposts enable a user to study the mechanical interactions between cells and their immediate surroundings. Particularly, cell-substrate interactions are the main interest. Today micropost arrays are a well-characterized and established method with a broad range of applications that have been published over the last decade. However, there seems to be a reservation among biologists to adapt the technique due to the lengthy and challenging process of micropost manufacture along with the lack of easily approachable software for analyzing images of cells interacting with microposts. The force read-out from microposts is surprisingly easy. A micropost acts like a spring with the cell ideally attached at its tip. Depending on size a cell applies force from its cytoskeleton through one or multiple focal adhesion points to the micropost, thus deflecting the micropost. The amount of deflection correlates directly to the applied force in direction and in magnitude. The number of microposts covered by a cell and the post deflection patterns are characteristic and allow determination of values like force per post and many biologically relevant parameters that allow "mechano-profiling" of cell phenotypes. A convenient method for mechano-profiling is described here combining the first generation of ready-to-use commercially available microposts with an in-house developed software package that is now accessible to all researchers. As a demonstration of typical application, single images of bone cancer cells were taken in bright-field microscopy for mechano-profiling of cell line models of metastasis. This combination of commercial traction force sensors and open source software for analysis allows for the first time a rapid implementation of the micropost array technique into routine lab work done by non-expert users. Furthermore, a robust and streamlined analysis process enables a user to analyze a large number of micropost images in a highly time-efficient manner.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:German
Date:17 November 2015
Deposited On:05 Feb 2016 11:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:59
Publisher:Journal of Visualized Experiments
ISSN:1940-087X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3791/53350
PubMed ID:26650118

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