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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (15)
- Analytical Chemistry
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Mechanics & Chemistry of Biosystems : MCB
- Annals of Biomedical Engineering
- Methods in Cell Biology
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- The Review of Scientific Instruments
- Lab on a Chip
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Journal of Cell Science
- Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering
- Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
- Biophysical Journal
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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Articles by Nathan J. Sniadecki in JoVE
Microfabricated פוסט מערך גלאים (mPADs): גישה לבודד כוחות מכניים
Ravi A. Desai1, Michael T. Yang1, Nathan J. Sniadecki2, Wesley R. Legant1, Christopher S. Chen1
1Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2University of Washington
בסרטון זה אנו מדגימים כיצד לפברק ולנצל microfabricated גלאי מערך פוסט (mPADs) כדי להעריך מודולציות של contractility הסלולר.
Other articles by Nathan J. Sniadecki on PubMed
Analytical Chemistry. Apr, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15053655
Microfluidic field-effect flow control (FEFC) modifies the zeta potential of electroosmotic flow using a transverse electric field applied through the microchannel wall. Previously demonstrated in silicon-based and glass microsystems, FEFC is presented here as an elegant method for flow control in polymer-based microfluidics with a simple and low-cost fabrication process. In addition to direct FEFC flow modulation, independent transverse electric fields in connected microchannels are demonstrated to produce a differential pumping rate between the microchannels. The different electroosmotic pumping rates formed by local zeta potential control induce an internal pressure at the microchannel intersection, resulting in hydrodynamic pumping through an interconnecting field-free microchannel. Modulation of the voltages applied to the gate electrodes adjusts the magnitude and direction of the bidirectional pressure pumping, with fine resolution volume flow rates from -2 to 2 nL/min in the field-free microchannel demonstrated.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16049098
Spatial patterns of cellular growth generate mechanical stresses that help to push, fold, expand, and deform tissues into their specific forms. Genetic factors are thought to specify patterns of growth and other behaviors to drive morphogenesis. Here, we show that tissue form itself can feed back to regulate patterns of proliferation. Using micro-fabrication to control the organization of sheets of cells, we demonstrated the emergence of stable patterns of proliferative foci. Regions of concentrated growth corresponded to regions of high tractional stress generated within the sheet, as predicted by a finite-element model of multicellular mechanics and measured directly by using a micromechanical force sensor array. Inhibiting actomyosin-based tension or cadherin-mediated connections between cells disrupted the spatial pattern of proliferation. These findings demonstrate the existence of patterns of mechanical forces that originate from the contraction of cells, emerge from their multicellular organization, and result in patterns of growth. Thus, tissue form is not only a consequence but also an active regulator of tissue growth.
Shear Force at the Cell-matrix Interface: Enhanced Analysis for Microfabricated Post Array Detectors
Mechanics & Chemistry of Biosystems : MCB. 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16708468
The interplay of mechanical forces between the extracellular environment and the cytoskeleton drives development, repair, and senescence in many tissues. Quantitative definition of these forces is a vital step in understanding cellular mechanosensing. Microfabricated post array detectors (mPADs) provide direct measurements of cell-generated forces during cell adhesion to extracellular matrix. A new approach to mPAD post labeling, volumetric imaging, and an analysis of post bending mechanics determined that cells apply shear forces and not point moments at the matrix interface. In addition, these forces could be accurately resolved from post deflections by using images of post tops and bases. Image analysis tools were then developed to increase the precision and throughput of post centroid location. These studies resulted in an improved method of force measurement with broad applicability and concise execution using a fully automated force analysis system. The new method measures cell-generated forces with less than 5% error and less than 90 seconds of computational time. Using this approach, we demonstrated direct and distinct relationships between cellular traction force and spread cell surface area for fibroblasts, endothelial cells, epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16525764
In the pursuit to understand the interaction between cells and their underlying substrates, the life sciences are beginning to incorporate micro- and nanotechnology-based tools to probe and measure cells. The development of these tools portends endless possibilities for new insights into the fundamental relationships between cells and their surrounding microenvironment that underlie the physiology of human tissue. Here, we review techniques and tools that have been used to study how a cell responds to the physical factors in its environment. We also discuss unanswered questions that could be addressed by these approaches to better elucidate the molecular processes and mechanical forces that dominate the interactions between cells and their physical scaffolds.
Methods in Cell Biology. 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17613314
Nonmuscle cells exert biomechanical forces known as traction forces on the extracellular matrix (ECM). Spatial coordination of these traction forces against the ECM is in part responsible for directing cell migration, for remodeling the surrounding tissue scaffold, and for the folds and rearrangements seen during morphogenesis. The traction forces are applied through a number of discrete adhesions between a cell and the ECM. We have developed a device consisting of an array of flexible, microfabricated posts capable of measuring these forces under an adherent cell. Functionalizing the top of each post with ECM protein allows cells to attach and spread across the tops of the posts. Deflection of the tips of the posts is proportional to cell-generated traction forces during cell migration or contraction. In this chapter, we describe the microfabrication, preparation, and experimental use of such microfabricated post array detector system (mPADs).
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17804810
Cells respond to mechanical forces whether applied externally or generated internally via the cytoskeleton. To study the cellular response to forces separately, we applied external forces to cells via microfabricated magnetic posts containing cobalt nanowires interspersed among an array of elastomeric posts, which acted as independent sensors to cellular traction forces. A magnetic field induced torque in the nanowires, which deflected the magnetic posts and imparted force to individual adhesions of cells attached to the array. Using this system, we examined the cellular reaction to applied forces and found that applying a step force led to an increase in local focal adhesion size at the site of application but not at nearby nonmagnetic posts. Focal adhesion recruitment was enhanced further when cells were subjected to multiple force actuations within the same time interval. Recording the traction forces in response to such force stimulation revealed two responses: a sudden loss in contractility that occurred within the first minute of stimulation or a gradual decay in contractility over several minutes. For both types of responses, the subcellular distribution of loss in traction forces was not confined to locations near the actuated micropost, nor uniformly across the whole cell, but instead occurred at discrete locations along the cell periphery. Together, these data reveal an important dynamic biological relationship between external and internal forces and demonstrate the utility of this microfabricated system to explore this interaction.
Magnetic Microposts for Mechanical Stimulation of Biological Cells: Fabrication, Characterization, and Analysis
The Review of Scientific Instruments. Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18447536
Cells use force as a mechanical signal to sense and respond to their microenvironment. Understanding how mechanical forces affect living cells requires the development of tool sets that can apply nanoscale forces and also measure cellular traction forces. However, there has been a lack of techniques that integrate actuation and sensing components to study force as a mechanical signal. Here, we describe a system that uses an array of elastomeric microposts to apply external forces to cells through cobalt nanowires embedded inside the microposts. We first biochemically treat the posts' surfaces to restrict cell adhesion to the posts' tips. Then by applying a uniform magnetic field (B<0.3 T), we induce magnetic torque on the nanowires that is transmitted to a cell's adhesion site as an external force. We have achieved external forces of up to 45 nN, which is in the upper range of current nanoscale force-probing techniques. Nonmagnetic microposts, similarly prepared but without nanowires, surround the magnetic microposts and are used to measure the traction forces and changes in cell mechanics. We record the magnitude and direction of the external force and the traction forces by optically measuring the deflection of the microposts, which linearly deflect as cantilever springs. With this approach, we can measure traction forces before and after force stimulation in order to monitor cellular response to forces. We present the fabrication methods, magnetic force characterization, and image analysis techniques used to achieve the measurements.
Endocrinology. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20016028
Magnetic nanoparticles can be coated with specific ligands that enable them to bind to receptors on a cell's surface. When a magnetic field is applied, it pulls on the particles so that they deliver nanoscale forces at the ligand-receptor bond. It has been observed that mechanical stimulation in this manner can activate cellular signaling pathways that are known as mechanotransduction pathways. Integrin receptors, stretch-activated ion channels, focal adhesions, and the cytoskeleton are key players in activating these pathways, but there is still much we do not know about how these mechanosensors work. Current evidence indicates that applied forces at these structures can activate Ca(2+) signaling, Src family protein kinase, MAPK, and RhoGTPase pathways. The techniques of magnetic twisting and magnetic tweezers, which use magnetic particles to apply forces to cells, afford a fine degree of control over how cells are stimulated and hold much promise in elucidating the fundamentals of mechanotransduction. The particles are generally not harmful to cellular health, and their nanoscale dimensions make them advantageous for probing a cell's molecular-scale sensory structures. This review highlights the basic aspects of magnetic nanoparticles, magnetic particle techniques and the structures and pathways that are involved in mechanotransduction.
Lab on a Chip. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20358105
Platelets play an important role in hemostasis by forming a thrombotic plug that seals the vessel wall and promotes vascular healing. After platelets adhere and aggregate at the wound site, their next step is to generate contractile forces through the coordination of physicochemical interactions between actin, myosin, and alpha(IIb)beta(3) integrin receptors that retract the thrombus' size and strengthen its adhesion to the exposed matrix. Although platelet contractile forces (PCF) are a definitive feature of hemostasis and thrombosis, there are few approaches that can directly measure them. In this study, we describe the development of an approach to measure PCF in microthrombi using a microscopic flexible post force sensor array. Quasi-static measurements and live microscopic imaging of thrombin-activated platelets on the posts were conducted to assay the development of PCF to various hemostatic conditions. Microthrombi were observed to produce forces that monotonically increased with thrombin concentration and activation time, but forces subsided when thrombin was removed. PCF results were statistically similar on arrays of posts printed with fibronectin or fibrinogen. PCF measurements were combined with clot volume measurements to determine that the average force per platelet was 2.1 +/- 0.1 nN after 60 min, which is significantly higher than what has been measured with previous approaches. Overall, the flexible post arrays for PCF measurements are a promising approach for evaluating platelet functionality, platelet physiology and pathology, the impacts of different matrices or agonists on hemostatic responses, and in providing critical information regarding platelet activity that can guide new hemostatic or thrombotic strategies.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20463286
Actomyosin contractility affects cellular organization within tissues in part through the generation of mechanical forces at sites of cell-matrix and cell-cell contact. While increased mechanical loading at cell-matrix adhesions results in focal adhesion growth, whether forces drive changes in the size of cell-cell adhesions remains an open question. To investigate the responsiveness of adherens junctions (AJ) to force, we adapted a system of microfabricated force sensors to quantitatively report cell-cell tugging force and AJ size. We observed that AJ size was modulated by endothelial cell-cell tugging forces: AJs and tugging force grew or decayed with myosin activation or inhibition, respectively. Myosin-dependent regulation of AJs operated in concert with a Rac1, and this coordinated regulation was illustrated by showing that the effects of vascular permeability agents (S1P, thrombin) on junctional stability were reversed by changing the extent to which these agents coupled to the Rac and myosin-dependent pathways. Furthermore, direct application of mechanical tugging force, rather than myosin activity per se, was sufficient to trigger AJ growth. These findings demonstrate that the dynamic coordination of mechanical forces and cell-cell adhesive interactions likely is critical to the maintenance of multicellular integrity and highlight the need for new approaches to study tugging forces.
Decoupling Diffusional from Dimensional Control of Signaling in 3D Culture Reveals a Role for Myosin in Tubulogenesis
Journal of Cell Science. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20682635
We present a novel microfabricated platform to culture cells within arrays of micrometer-scale three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrix scaffolds (microgels). These microscale cultures eliminate diffusion barriers that are intrinsic to traditional 3D culture systems (macrogels) and enable uniform cytokine stimulation of the entire culture population, as well as allow immunolabeling, imaging and population-based biochemical assays across the relatively coplanar microgels. Examining early signaling associated with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-mediated scattering and tubulogenesis of MDCK cells revealed that 3D culture modulates cellular responses both through dimensionality and altered stimulation rates. Comparing responses in 2D culture, microgels and macrogels demonstrated that HGF-induced ERK signaling was driven by the dynamics of stimulation and not by whether cells were in a 2D or 3D environment, and that this ERK signaling was equally important for HGF-induced cell scattering on 2D substrates and tubulogenesis in 3D. By contrast, we discovered a specific HGF-induced increase in myosin expression leading to sustained downregulation of myosin activity that occurred only within 3D contexts and was required for 3D tubulogenesis but not 2D scattering. Interestingly, although absent in cells on collagen-coated plates, downregulation of myosin activity also occurred for cells on collagen gels, but was transient and mediated by a combination of myosin dephosphorylation and enhanced myosin expression. Furthermore, upregulating myosin activity via siRNA targeted to a myosin phosphatase did not attenuate scattering in 2D but did inhibit tubulogenesis in 3D. Together, these results demonstrate that cellular responses to soluble cues in 3D culture are regulated by both rates of stimulation and by matrix dimensionality, and highlight the importance of decoupling these effects to identify early signals relevant to cellular function in 3D environments.
Mechanical Forces in Endothelial Cells During Firm Adhesion and Early Transmigration of Human Monocytes
Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20862208
Transmigration of leukocytes across the endothelial barrier is a tightly controlled process involving multiple steps, including rolling adhesion, firm adhesion, and then penetration of leukocytes through the endothelial monolayer. While the key molecular signals have been described in great detail, we are only just beginning to unveil the mechanical forces involved in this process. Here, using a microfabricated system that reports traction forces generated by cells, we describe forces generated by endothelial cells during monocyte firm adhesion and transmigration. Average traction force across the endothelial monolayer increased dramatically when monocytes firmly adhered and transmigrated. Interestingly, the endothelial cell that was in direct contact with the monocyte exhibited much larger traction forces relative to its neighbors, and the direction of these traction forces aligned centripetally with respect to the monocyte. The increase in traction force occurred in the local subcellular zone of monocyte adhesion, and dissipated rapidly with distance. To begin to characterize the basis for this mechanical effect, we show that beads coated with anti-ICAM-1 or VCAM-1 antibodies bound to monolayers could reproduce this effect. Taken together, this study provides a new approach to examining the role of cellular mechanics in regulating leukocyte transmigration through the endothelium.
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21516530
Cell migration relies on traction forces in order to propel a cell. Several computational models have been developed that help explain the trajectory that cells take during migration, but little attention has been placed on traction forces during this process. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of cell migration by using a bio-chemical-mechanical contractility model that incorporates the first steps of cell migration on an array of posts. In the model, formation of a new adhesion causes a reactivation of stress fibre assembly within a cell. The model was able to predict the spatial distribution of traction forces observed with previous experiments. Moreover, the model found that the strain energy exerted by the traction forces of a migrating cell underwent a cyclic relationship that rose with the formation of a new adhesion and fell with the release of an adhesion at its rear.
Substrate Stiffness Increases Twitch Power of Neonatal Cardiomyocytes in Correlation with Changes in Myofibril Structure and Intracellular Calcium
Biophysical Journal. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22098744
During neonatal development, there is an increase in myocardial stiffness that coincides with an increase in the contractility of the heart. In vitro assays have shown that substrate stiffness plays a role in regulating the twitch forces produced by immature cardiomyocytes. However, its effect on twitch power is unclear due to difficulties in measuring the twitch velocity of cardiomyocytes. Here, we introduce what we consider a novel approach to quantify twitch power by combining the temporal resolution of optical line scanning with the subcellular force resolution of micropost arrays. Using this approach, twitch power was found to be greater for cells cultured on stiffer posts, despite having lower twitch velocities. The increased power was attributed in part to improved myofibril structure (increased sarcomere length and Z-band width) and intracellular calcium levels. Immunofluorescent staining of α-actin revealed that cardiomyocytes had greater sarcomere length and Z-band width when cultured on stiffer arrays. Moreover, the concentration of intracellular calcium at rest and its rise with each twitch contraction was greater for cells on the stiffer posts. Altogether, these findings indicate that cardiomyocytes respond to substrate stiffness with biomechanical and biochemical changes that lead to an increase in cardiac contractility.
Mechanobiology of Platelets: Techniques to Study the Role of Fluid Flow and Platelet Retraction Forces at the Micro- and Nano-scale
International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22272117
Coagulation involves a complex set of events that are important in maintaining hemostasis. Biochemical interactions are classically known to regulate the hemostatic process, but recent evidence has revealed that mechanical interactions between platelets and their surroundings can also play a substantial role. Investigations into platelet mechanobiology have been challenging however, due to the small dimensions of platelets and their glycoprotein receptors. Platelet researchers have recently turned to microfabricated devices to control these physical, nanometer-scale interactions with a higher degree of precision. These approaches have enabled exciting, new insights into the molecular and biomechanical factors that affect platelets in clot formation. In this review, we highlight the new tools used to understand platelet mechanobiology and the roles of adhesion, shear flow, and retraction forces in clot formation.