Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 117–123 | Cite as

Microactuator device for integrated measurement of epithelium mechanics

  • Vikram Mukundan
  • W. James Nelson
  • Beth L. PruittEmail author


Mechanical forces are among important factors that drive cellular function and organization. We present a microfabricated device with on-chip actuation for mechanical testing of single cells. An integrated immersible electrostatic actuator system is demonstrated that applies calibrated forces to cells. We conduct stretching experiments by directly applying forces to epithelial cells adhered to device surfaces functionalized with collagen. We measure mechanical properties including stiffness, hysteresis and visco-elasticity of adherent cells.


Electrostatic actuator Force measurement Epithelium Cell mechanics 



This work is supported by NSF CAREER award ECS0449499, NIH R01EB006745-01A1 and NSF EFRI (MIKS-1136790). Fabrication was done at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, which is supported by NSF under grant ECS 9731293. VM was supported by the Stanford Graduate Fellowship. WJN is supported by National Institutes of Health grant GM35527.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vikram Mukundan
    • 1
    • 3
  • W. James Nelson
    • 2
  • Beth L. Pruitt
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and GeneticsDresdenGermany

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