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Magnetic tweezers optimized to exert high forces over extended distances from the magnet in multicellular systems


Selvaggi, L; Pasakarnis, L; Brunner, D; Aegerter, C M (2018). Magnetic tweezers optimized to exert high forces over extended distances from the magnet in multicellular systems. Review of Scientific Instruments, 89(4):045106.

Abstract

Magnetic tweezers are mainly divided into two classes depending on the ability of applying torque or forces to the magnetic probe. We focused on the second category and designed a device composed by a single electromagnet equipped with a core having a special asymmetric profile to exert forces as large as 230 pN–2.8 μm Dynabeads at distances in excess of 100 μm from the magnetic tip. Compared to existing solutions our magnetic tweezers overcome important limitations, opening new experimental paths for the study of a wide range of materials in a variety of biophysical research settings. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different magnet core characteristics, which led us to design the current core profile. To demonstrate the usefulness of our magnetic tweezers, we determined the microrheological properties inside embryos of Drosophila melanogaster during the syncytial stage. Measurements in different locations along the dorsal-ventral axis of the embryos showed little variation, with a slight increase in cytoplasm viscosity at the periphery of the embryos. The mean cytoplasm viscosity we obtain by active force exertion inside the embryos is comparable to that determined passively using high-speed video microrheology.

Abstract

Magnetic tweezers are mainly divided into two classes depending on the ability of applying torque or forces to the magnetic probe. We focused on the second category and designed a device composed by a single electromagnet equipped with a core having a special asymmetric profile to exert forces as large as 230 pN–2.8 μm Dynabeads at distances in excess of 100 μm from the magnetic tip. Compared to existing solutions our magnetic tweezers overcome important limitations, opening new experimental paths for the study of a wide range of materials in a variety of biophysical research settings. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different magnet core characteristics, which led us to design the current core profile. To demonstrate the usefulness of our magnetic tweezers, we determined the microrheological properties inside embryos of Drosophila melanogaster during the syncytial stage. Measurements in different locations along the dorsal-ventral axis of the embryos showed little variation, with a slight increase in cytoplasm viscosity at the periphery of the embryos. The mean cytoplasm viscosity we obtain by active force exertion inside the embryos is comparable to that determined passively using high-speed video microrheology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:1 April 2018
Deposited On:04 Oct 2018 13:07
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:48
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
ISSN:0034-6748
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5010788

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