Three-dimensional force microscopy

December 7, 2015

FAU researchers develop method of measuring forces of tumor cells as they migrate through connective tissue.

Julian Steinwachs and colleagues at the Biophysics Group investigated tumour cell migration in artificial made of collagen, which mimics the natural matrix of organs in terms of its , structure and other material properties. The idea behind their method is simple: the researchers first measured the deformation of the connective tissue around the migrating cells. If the elasticity of the connective tissue is known, it can then be used like a spring scale to calculate the cell forces from the tissue deformations.

A particular challenge for the researchers was that connective tissue is initially soft when forces are weak, but stiffens at the level of forces generated by . Tumour cells also used part of their forces to elongate into a spindle-like shape, allowing them to migrate at a remarkable speed even through very small pores of the connective tissue. In their next project, the researchers will apply this method to investigate differences in the cell forces between differently aggressive tumours.

Explore further: New force sensing method reveals how cells sense tissue stiffness

More information: Three-dimensional force microscopy of cells in biopolymer networks, dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.3685

Related Stories

Scientists bringing cells on the fast track

October 6, 2014

During cancer metastasis, immune response cells are moving in a controlled manner through the body. Researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel discovered novel mechanisms of cell migration by ...

Scientists grow functional vocal cord tissue in the lab

November 18, 2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have succeeded in growing functional vocal cord tissue in the laboratory, a major step toward restoring a voice to people who have lost their vocal cords to cancer surgery or other ...

Making bone in the lab

August 20, 2015

Every year there are around 60,000 hip, 50,000 forearm and 40,000 vertebral fractures in the UK. At the Bone and Joint Research Group at the University of Southampton, Professor Richard Oreffo and team have made pioneering ...

Recommended for you

Two teams independently test Tomonaga–Luttinger theory

October 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—Two teams of researchers working independently of one another have found ways to test aspects of the Tomonaga–Luttinger theory that describes interacting quantum particles in 1-D ensembles in a Tomonaga–Luttinger ...

Using optical chaos to control the momentum of light

October 19, 2017

Integrated photonic circuits, which rely on light rather than electrons to move information, promise to revolutionize communications, sensing and data processing. But controlling and moving light poses serious challenges. ...

Black butterfly wings offer a model for better solar cells

October 19, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with California Institute of Technology and the Karlsruh Institute of Technology has improved the efficiency of thin film solar cells by mimicking the architecture of rose butterfly wings. ...

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

October 19, 2017

Brown University researchers have demonstrated a way to bring a powerful form of spectroscopy—a technique used to study a wide variety of materials—into the nano-world.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.