Dictyostelium discoideum Protocols

Volume 983 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 367-382


Micropipette Aspiration for Studying Cellular Mechanosensory Responses and Mechanics

  • Yee-Seir KeeAffiliated withDepartment of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineDepartment of Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University
  • , Douglas N. RobinsonAffiliated withDepartments of Cell Biology, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Email author 

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Micropipette aspiration (MPA) is a widely applied method for studying cortical tension and deformability. Based on simple hydrostatic principles, this assay allows the application of a specific magnitude of mechanical stress on cells. This powerful method has revealed insights about cell mechanics and mechanosensing, not only in Dictyostelium discoideum but also in other cell types. In this chapter, we present how to set up a micropipette aspiration system and the experimental procedures for determining cortical tension and mechanosensory responses.

Key words

Micropipette aspiration Cell mechanics Cortical tension Mechanosensing Mechanosensory response