High-throughput Measurements of Single Cell Rheology by Atomic Force Microscopy
The compliant mechanical properties of single cells have been extensively investigated and these properties are known to exhibit a strong dependence on the surrounding environments and also cell types, functions and conditions. An understanding of the cell behavior is important for applications of tissue engineering. Accurate rheological measurements are essential to elucidate the mechanisms of cell integrity and fluidity and are also key to mechanically identifying and separating single cells for cellular and tissue engineering. Of the various existing nano- and micro-rheology techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows great potential as a minimally invasive method. AFM allows mechanical measurements to be performed without the need for chemical modifications, via nano-scale contact between the AFM probe and the cell surface. In this chapter, we describe a recent advance in which micro-fabricated substrates are used for high-speed, automated AFM rheological measurements on size- and position-controlled cells.
KeywordsAtomic force microscopy Micro-fabricated substrates Cell rheology Single cell analysis Complex shear modulus
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