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Nanoindentation of mesenchymal stem cells using atomic force microscopy: effect of adhesive cell-substrate structures

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Cavalcanti-Adam,  Elisabetta Ada
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Migliorini, E., Cavalcanti-Adam, E. A., Uva, A. E., Fiorentino, M., Gattullo, M., Manghisi, V. M., et al. (2021). Nanoindentation of mesenchymal stem cells using atomic force microscopy: effect of adhesive cell-substrate structures. Nanotechnology, 1-25. doi:10.1088/1361-6528/abe748.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-093F-9
Abstract
The procedure commonly adopted to characterize cell materials using atomic force microscopy neglects the stress state induced in the cell by the adhesion structures that anchor it to the substrate. In several studies, the cell is considered as made from a single material and no specific information is provided regarding the mechanical properties of subcellular components. Here we present an optimization algorithm to determine separately the material properties of subcellular components of mesenchymal stem cells subjected to nanoindentation measurements. We assess how these properties change if the adhesion structures at the cell-substrate interface are considered or not in the algorithm. In particular, among the adhesion structures, the focal adhesions and the stress fibers were simulated. We found that neglecting the adhesion structures leads to underestimate the cell mechanical properties thus making errors up to 15 %. This result leads us to conclude that the action of adhesion structures should be taken into account in nanoindentation measurements especially for cells that include a large number of adhesions to the substrate.