Friday, June 9, 2017

Optomechanical measurement of the role of lamins in whole cell deformability

Thorsten Kolb, Julia Kraxner, Kai Skodzek, Michael Haug, Dean Crawford, Kendra K. Maaß, Katerina E. Aifantis, Graeme Whyte

There is mounting evidence that the nuclear envelope, and particularly the lamina, plays a critical role in the mechanical and regulation properties of the cell and changes to the lamina can have implications for the physical properties of the whole cell. In this study we demonstrate that the optical stretcher can measure changes in the time-dependent mechanical properties of living cells with different levels of A-type lamin expression. Results from the optical stretcher shows a decrease in the deformability of cells as the levels of lamin A increases, for cells which grow both adherently and in suspension. Further detail can be probed by combining the optical stretcher with fluorescence microscopy to investigate the nuclear mechanical properties which show a larger decrease in deformability than for the whole cell.

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