Development of micropost force sensor array with culture experiments for determination of cell traction forces

Authors

  • Bin Li,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Luke Xie,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Zane C. Starr,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Zhaochun Yang,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Jeen-Shang Lin,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • James H-C. Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • MechanoBiology Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
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Abstract

Cell traction forces (CTFs) are critical for cell motility and cell shape maintenance. As such, they play a fundamental role in many biological processes such as angiogenesis, embryogenesis, inflammation, and wound healing. To determine CTFs at the sub-cellular level with high sensitivity, we have developed high density micropost force sensor array (MFSA), which consists of an array of vertically standing poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microposts, 2 μm in diameter and 6 μm in height, with a center-to-center distance of 4 μm. In combination with new image analysis algorithms, the MFSA can achieve a spatial resolution of 40 nm and a force sensitivity of 0.5 nN. Culture experiments with various types of cells showed that this MFSA technology can effectively determine CTFs of cells with different sizes and traction force magnitudes. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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