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An In Vitro Model System to Test Mechano-microbiological Interactions Between Bacteria and Host Cells

  • Luís Carlos Santos
  • Emilia Laura Munteanu
  • Nicolas Biais
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1365)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to present an innovative technique to visualize changes of the f-actin cytoskeleton in response to locally applied force. We developed an in vitro system that combines micromanipulation of force by magnetic tweezers with simultaneous live cell fluorescence microscopy. We applied pulling forces to magnetic beads coated with the Neisseria gonorrhoeae Type IV pili in the same order of magnitude than the forces generated by live bacteria. We saw quick and robust f-actin accumulation at the sites where pulling forces were applied. Using the magnetic tweezers we were able to mimic the local response of the f-actin cytoskeleton to bacteria-generated forces. In this chapter we describe our magnetic tweezers system and show how to control it in order to study cellular responses to force.

Key words

Magnetic tweezers Neisseria f-Actin Type IV pili Magnetic beads Cytoskeleton 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís Carlos Santos
    • 1
    • 4
  • Emilia Laura Munteanu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicolas Biais
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBrooklyn College of the City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.The Graduate Center of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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