Learn More
Optical tweezers are used to apply calibrated forces to human erythrocytes, via small silica beads bound to their membrane. The shear modulus mu of the membrane is inferred from measurements of the cell deformation in the small strain linear regime. We find the same result mu = 2.5 +/- 0.4 microN/m for both discotic and nearly spherical swollen cells. This(More)
We used a novel uniaxial stretching rheometer to measure the creep function J(t) of an isolated living cell. We show, for the first time at the scale of the whole cell, that J(t) behaves as a power-law J(t) = At(alpha). For N = 43 mice myoblasts (C2-7), we find alpha = 0.24 +/- 0.01 and A = (2.4 +/- 0.3) 10(-3) Pa(-1) s(-alpha). Using Laplace Transforms, we(More)
Living cells adapt to the stiffness of their environment. However, cell response to stiffness is mainly thought to be initiated by the deformation of adhesion complexes under applied force. In order to determine whether cell response was triggered by stiffness or force, we have developed a unique method allowing us to tune, in real time, the effective(More)
The area expansion and the shear moduli of the free spectrin skeleton, freshly extracted from the membrane of a human red blood cell (RBC), are measured by using optical tweezers micromanipulation. An RBC is trapped by three silica beads bound to its membrane. After extraction, the skeleton is deformed by applying calibrated forces to the beads. The area(More)
Living cells exhibit an important out-of-equilibrium mechanical activity, mainly due to the forces generated by molecular motors. These motor proteins, acting individually or collectively on the cytoskeleton, contribute to the violation of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem in living systems. In this work we probe the cytoskeletal out-of-equilibrium(More)
In a three-dimensional environment, cells migrate through complex topographical features. Using microstructured substrates, we investigate the role of substrate topography in cell adhesion and migration. To do so, fibroblasts are plated on chemically identical substrates composed of microfabricated pillars. When the dimensions of the pillars (i.e., the(More)
Mechanical cell-substrate interactions affect many cellular functions such as spreading, migration, and even differentiation. These interactions can be studied by incorporating micro- and nanotechnology-related tools. The design of substrates based on these technologies offers new possibilities to probe the cellular responses to changes in their physical(More)
We have determined the microrheological response of the actin meshwork for individual cells. We applied oscillating forces with an optical tweezer to a micrometric bead specifically bound to the actin meshwork of C2 myoblasts, and measured the amplitude and phase shift of the induced cell deformation. For a non-perturbed single cell, we have shown that the(More)
We designed a micromanipulation device that allows the local application of a constant force on living cells, and the measurement of their stiffness. The force is applied through an Arg-Gly-Asp-coated bead adhering on the cell and trapped in optical tweezers controlled by a feedback loop. Epifluorescence observations of green fluorescent protein-actin in(More)
Cell shape affects proliferation and differentiation, which are processes known to depend on integrin-based focal adhesion (FA) signaling. Because shape results from force balance and FAs are mechanosensitive complexes transmitting tension from the cell structure to its mechanical environment, we investigated the interplay between 3D cell shape, traction(More)