Elasticity spectra as a tool to investigate actin cortex mechanics

Lüchtefeld, I., Bartolozzi, A., Mejía Morales, J., Dobre, O. , Basso, M., Zambelli, T. and Vassalli, M. (2020) Elasticity spectra as a tool to investigate actin cortex mechanics. Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 18, 147. (doi: 10.1186/s12951-020-00706-2)

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Background: The mechanical properties of single living cells have proven to be a powerful marker of the cell physiological state. The use of nanoindentation-based single cell force spectroscopy provided a wealth of information on the elasticity of cells, which is still largely to be exploited. The simplest model to describe cell mechanics is to treat them as a homogeneous elastic material and describe it in terms of the Young’s modulus. Beside its simplicity, this approach proved to be extremely informative, allowing to assess the potential of this physical indicator towards high throughput phenotyping in diagnostic and prognostic applications. Results: Here we propose an extension of this analysis to explicitly account for the properties of the actin cortex. We present a method, the Elasticity Spectra, to calculate the apparent stiffness of the cell as a function of the indentation depth and we suggest a simple phenomenological approach to measure the thickness and stiffness of the actin cortex, in addition to the standard Young’s modulus. Conclusions: The Elasticity Spectra approach is tested and validated on a set of cells treated with cytoskeleton-affecting drugs, showing the potential to extend the current representation of cell mechanics, without introducing a detailed and complex description of the intracellular structure.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: MV wants to thank the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) for supporting a short-term visit to ETH Zürich; OD acknowledges support of the EPSRC (Grant EP/P001114/1). JMM acknowledges the funding for international mobility Fance-Italy provided by the Université Franco Italienne (UFI, project C2-1031) and the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT), scholarship 471712); IL acknowledges support of EUROSTARS program ( “SOUL” E!11644).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dobre, Dr Oana and Vassalli, Professor Massimo
Authors: Lüchtefeld, I., Bartolozzi, A., Mejía Morales, J., Dobre, O., Basso, M., Zambelli, T., and Vassalli, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of Nanobiotechnology
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2158-7043
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2020.
First Published:First published in Journal of Nanobiotechnology
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.1033

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173192Engineering growth factor microenvironments- a new therapeutic paradigm for regenerative medicineManuel Salmeron-SanchezEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P001114/1ENG - Biomedical Engineering