Measurement of tension release during laser induced axon lesion to evaluate axonal adhesion to the substrate at piconewton and millisecond resolution.

Abstract

The formation of functional connections in a developing neuronal network is influenced by extrinsic cues. The neurite growth of developing neurons is subject to chemical and mechanical signals, and the mechanisms by which it senses and responds to mechanical signals are poorly understood. Elucidating the role of forces in cell maturation will enable the design of scaffolds that can promote cell adhesion and cytoskeletal coupling to the substrate, and therefore improve the capacity of different neuronal types to regenerate after injury. Here, we describe a method to apply simultaneous force spectroscopy measurements during laser induced cell lesion. We measure tension release in the partially lesioned axon by simultaneous interferometric tracking of an optically trapped probe adhered to the membrane of the axon. Our experimental protocol detects the tension release with piconewton sensitivity, and the dynamic of the tension release at millisecond time resolution. Therefore, it offers a high-resolution method to study how the mechanical coupling between cells and substrates can be modulated by pharmacological treatment and/or by distinct mechanical properties of the substrate.

DOI: 10.3791/50477

Cite this paper

@article{Vassalli2013MeasurementOT, title={Measurement of tension release during laser induced axon lesion to evaluate axonal adhesion to the substrate at piconewton and millisecond resolution.}, author={Massimo Vassalli and Michele Basso and Francesco Difato}, journal={Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE}, year={2013}, volume={75}, pages={e50477} }