MSE Seminar Series: Christine Selhuber-Unkel
Friday, February 13, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2110, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
301 405 5240
Advanced Force Microscopy Techniques for Investigating Cellular Interactions at the Nanoscale
Institute of Materials Science
University of Kiel
In order to systematically investigate the contact between cells and materials, it is essential to develop techniques that allow studying adhesion at the cellular and sub-cellular level. We are using an AFM-based method that is capable of characterizing the adhesion forces of cells with Piconewton resolution at timescales from a few seconds to many days. In the experiments, we attach a spread cell to a tipless, protein-coated cantilever. After cell attachment, the cantilever is retracted and the detachment force is recorded.
We have recently applied this method to quantify the adhesion strength of fibroblast cells to nanostructured surfaces that provide anchorage points for single cellular receptor proteins (integrins) in a quasi-hexagonal lattice with nanometre resolution. By analysing the adhesion forces, we found that the nano-scale spacing between individual integrins in the cell membrane controls the strength of cell adhesion, the stability of adhesion clusters and cell elasticity.