New protocol for the study of subcellular mechanics in confinement

New protocol for the study of subcellular mechanics in confinement

The study of subcellular mechanics is essential to understand how, among other biological processes, cells proliferate, migrate or differentiate. Indeed, cells, decode mechanical signals via the presence of force-sensitive subcellular and molecular elements that transduce mechanical information into specific signaling pathways controlling cell behavior, cell fate, and cell mechanics. Now, these kind of studies are possible with a new protocol using SENSOCELL optical tweezers developed by the Neurophotonics & Mechanical Systems Biology lab at ICFO and the Ruprecht lab at CRG.

Sounds interesting? Then check their latest article published at JOVE Journal and keep reading!

Direct Force Measurements of Subcellular Mechanics in Confinement using Optical Tweezers.

Frederic Català-Castro, Valeria Venturini, Santiago Ortiz-Vásquez, Verena Ruprecht, Michael Krieg. J. Vis. Exp.(174), e62865, doi:10.3791/62865 (2021).

In this article, the authors describe in detail a new method to measure the forces and material properties that shape the cell nucleus inside living cells, exemplified on adherent cells and mechanically confined cells. According to the authors, the presented method is straightforward and can easily be extended to investigate the mechanics of other subcellular compartments, e.g., mitochondria, stress-fibers, and endosomes.

A unique setup combining optical tweezers, direct force spectroscopy and spinning disk confocal imaging.

The measurements can be performed non-invasively with optical traps inside cells, and the forces are directly accessible through Impetux’s exclusive technology based on calibration-free detection of light momentum. This allows measuring the mechanics of the nucleus independently from cell surface deformations and allowing dissection of exteroceptive and interoceptive mechanotransduction pathways. Importantly, the trapping experiment can be combined with optical microscopy to investigate the cellular response and subcellular dynamics using fluorescence imaging of the cytoskeleton, calcium ions, or nuclear morphology.

To deep into the details of this work have a look at the article here.

Enjoy the reading!

Congratulations to the authors!

📌If you are interested in how our optical tweezers system: SENSOCELL can be used for cell micro-rheology measurements, cell nucleus indentation experiments, neuron mechanosensation studies, among others applications, you can have a look at the application section or directly contact us.

Key advances in optical manipulation for biophotonics

Key advances in optical manipulation for biophotonics

Our direct force spectroscopy technology considered to be among the main key advances in optical manipulation for biophotonics.

The IMPETUX’s exclusive technology to measure forces inside living cells and tissues has been considered one of the key advances in the field of optical manipulation of the last decade in the recent review by Dr. Stella Corsetti and Prof. Kishan Dholakia:

Optical manipulation: advances for biophotonics in the 21st century”

J. of Biomedical Optics, 26(7), 070602 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.26.7.070602

 

We cannot be more proud and honored to see that our work is recognized among the best experts in the field and we are thrilled to contribute in the expansion of the optical manipulation capabilities with such an important advance for quantitative force measurement in biological systems.

You can read the publication here.

 

📌 You can also check the multiple advantages of our distinctive direct force spectroscopy technology here. SENSOCELL is the only system in the market integrating this technology. Have a look at this and other extraordinary features of our SENSOCELL optical tweezers platform here.

We are providing a technology that is currently allowing to deepen our understanding of fundamental biological processes and that is exciting! Want to know more? contact us!.

Understanding how cells respond  to directly applied forces and to passive mechanical stimuli with SENSOCELL force spectroscopy technology

Understanding how cells respond to directly applied forces and to passive mechanical stimuli with SENSOCELL force spectroscopy technology

It is known that physical forces regulate cell response and determine essential processes.

In the publication :

The force loading rate drives cell mechanosensing through both reinforcement and fluidization

Ion Andreu, Bryan Falcones, Sebastian Hurst, Nimesh Chahare, Xarxa Quiroga, Anabel-Lise Le Roux, Zanetta Kechagia, Amy E.M. Beedle, Alberto Elósegui-Artola, Xavier Trepat, Ramon Farré, Timo Betz, Isaac Almendros, Pere Roca-Cusachs.

Nature Communications 12 | 4229 (2021) | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24383-3

 

the authors show how physical forces drive mechanosensing by applying dynamic force regimes to cells through different techniques including Optical Tweezers.

To measure the forces applied on cells with Optical Tweezers, they use the SENSOCELL force sensor module: Lunam T-40i. This module integrates our unique force spectroscopy technology allowing direct access to the forces applied by the optical tweezers on any trapped object without requiring any tedious and prone-to-error calibration process.

The authors found different responses depending on the forces applied and show how these similar behaviors are seen at the organ level.

This work provides a unifying mechanism to understand how cells respond not only to directly applied forces, but also to passive mechanical stimuli such as tissue rigidity or ECM ligand Distribution.

To deep into the details of this work have a look at the article here.

You can also read the interesting highlight of this article by Jessica L. Teo here.

Enjoy the reading!

Congratulations to the authors!

 

📌If you are interested in how our optical tweezers system: SENSOCELL can be used for cell micro-rheology measurements, cell nucleus indentation experiments, neuron mechanosensation studies, among others applications,  do not hesitate to have a look at the application section or directly contact us.

Stochastic force dynamics generated by a Chlamydomonas microswimmer study with IMPETUX’s exclusive patented technology

Stochastic force dynamics generated by a Chlamydomonas microswimmer study with IMPETUX’s exclusive patented technology

Stochastic force dynamics generated by a Chlamydomonas microswimmer in Optical Tweezers studied using the photon momentum method:

 

Here we share an interesting publication from Dr. Ahmed Lab from the Department of Physics of the California State University Fullerton et al.

 “Stochastic force dynamics of the model microswimmer Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: Active forces and energetics

In this paper the authors study the stochastic force dynamics of a model microswimmer algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), using a combined experimental, theoretical, and numerical approach.

For the experimental work they directly measured the stochastic forces generated by these algae using an optical trap via the photon momentum method.

“Optical trapping to manipulate and study microswimmers is not new”

they state

“ however, in-situ calibration is typically challenging. Here , direct force measurements are possible due to recent advances in optical trap calibration known as the photon momentum method…..”.

For this, the authors used an optical tweezers system from IMPETUX . IMPETUX products are the only optical tweezers systems in the market incorporating this patented calibration-free force-sensing technology.

The following video (courtesy of Dr Ahmed),  shows a optically trapped Chlamydomonas microswimmers and real-time X-Y force measurement.

 

The authors conclude that the photon momentum method, a part of providing other several advantages, is a key technique to study the force dynamics of microswimmers with complex force patterns not previously accessible.

You can have a look at the details of the results obtained and conclusions here

Enjoy the reading!

Congratulations to the authors!

 

📌If you are interested in how our optical tweezers system: SENSOCELL can be used for cell micro-rheology measurements, cell nucleus indentation experiments, neuron mechanosensation studies, among others applications,  do not hesitate to have a look at the application section or directly contact us.

Rheological measurements to understand Cell-ECM interactions with SENSOCELL

Rheological measurements to understand Cell-ECM interactions with SENSOCELL

Last week  we could read a fascinating project story related with one of our customers.

The project, led by Pere Roca-Cusachs at IBEC and entitled: Mechano·Control: mechanical control of biological function, aims to understand and control cellular mechanics from molecules to organs.

The project team is already achieving important goals and performing amazing experiments.

For example, they have been doing rheological measurements to understand Cell-ECM interactions and see how they can alter the mechanical properties of the cell cytoeskeleton with SENSOCELL.

The finding will help fight breast cancer.

For more details, have a look at the interesting interview with Zanetta Kechgia, a postdoc of the team led by Dr Pere Roca-Cusachs at IBEC here.

 

📌If you are interested in how our optical tweezers system: SENSOCELL can be used for cell micro-rheology measurements, cell nucleus indentation experiments, neuron mechanosensation studies, among others applications,  do not hesitate to have a look at the application section or directly contact us.

Microrheology experiments with IMPETUX’s exclusive patented technology

Microrheology experiments with IMPETUX’s exclusive patented technology

Capturing the complex active and passive material state of the cytoplasm using optical tweezers:

 

Here, we share an interesting preprint from Dr. Betz’s group at the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation from the Münster University and the Third Institute of Physics – Biophysics from the Georg August University Göttingen (Germany), entitled “Intracellular softening and fluidification reveals a mechanical switch of cytoskeletal material contributions during division”.

In this work, the authors use optical tweezers to show intracellular softening, fluidification and decrease of active forces in mitosis that is mediated by a surprising role switch between microtubules and actin.

(more…)

Microrheology experiments with IMPETUX’s exclusive patented technology

SENSOCELL to study mechanical properties of neurons during C. elegans locomotion

How mechanical properties of neurons regulate proprioception during C. elegans locomotion:

 

This 2021 starts with a new preprint available from the Neurophotonics & Mechanical Systems Biology group  at ICFO whose main research goal is to understand cell mechanical properties for health and disease on the molecular and systems level using Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans.

In this work entitled “Mechanical Stretch Inhibition Sensitizes Proprioceptors to Compressive Stresses”, the authors study how mechanical properties of neurons regulate proprioception during C. elegans locomotion.

(more…)

The characterization of cell membrane elasticity as a new potential biomarker for leukemia cells with IMPETUX technology

The characterization of cell membrane elasticity as a new potential biomarker for leukemia cells with IMPETUX technology

Characterizing cell membrane elasticity:

 

Researchers from the Optics Research Unit at De La Salle University and AIST-Osaka University have recently published and study where they have used a customized optical trapping system from IMPETUX to characterize cell membrane elasticity as a new potential biomarker for leukemia cells, comparing measurements for cells treated with anti-cancer drugs and untreated cells. You can  review all the  results here :

(more…)

How SENSOCELL offers the possibility to address fundamental questions about the mechanobiology of cells

How SENSOCELL offers the possibility to address fundamental questions about the mechanobiology of cells

Michael krieg

SENSOCELL is the ideal tool to bring mechanobiology and force measurements into animal model systems, such as C. elegans, Drosophila or Zebrafish.

Prof. Dr. MIchael Krieg

Neurophotonics and Mechanical Systems Biology, Institute of Photonics Sciences (ICFO)

Dr. Michael Krieg leads the Neurophotonics and Mechanical Systems Biology group at the Institute of Photonics Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona. After a 6-year postdoc at Stanford University, Dr. Krieg landed at ICFO in 2017 with a Starting Grant from the ERC. During his career, Dr. Krieg has mainly focused in the use of AFM to study the mechanics of cells, with a particular interest in mechanosensation and -transduction.

With the help of a FEDER grant, Dr. Krieg’s lab co-funded a SENSOCELL optical tweezers system from IMPETUX integrated with spinning disk confocal microscopy. The combination of these two modalities is unique and sparks many different collaborations between biologists, microscopists and physicists from many different institutes.

The unique force measuring capabilities of SENSOCELL offer Dr. Krieg the possibility to address fundamental questions about the mechanobiology of cells. In a recent research [1], his group has shown the potential of IMPETUX’s technology to characterize the mechanical properties of nuclei inside suspended and confined cells. The flexibility of system is also key in the cell membrane tension experiments carried out by the group, where they study the interplay between mechanical forces and calcium signalling in neurons.

When asked about the SENSOCELL, Dr. Krieg says: “With the optical sectioning capacity of the spinning disk confocal and the ability to measure forces readily inside living cells and animals, this instrument is the ideal tool to bring mechanobiology and force measurements into animal model systems, such as C. elegans, Drosophila or Zebrafish.”

Useful links

Cell membrane forces application webpage

Nucleus mechanics webpage

livinglight.icfo.eu

 

References

[1] V. Venturi, F. Pezzano, F. Català-Castro, H.- M. Häkkinen, S. Jiménez-Delgado, M. Colomer-Rosell, M. Marro-Sánchez, Q. Tolosa-Ramon, S. Paz-López, M. A. Valverde, P. Loza-Alvarez, M. Krieg, S. Wieser and V. Ruprecht, “The nucleus measures shape changes for cellular proprioception to control dynamic cell behavior” SCIENCE | 16 Oct 2020: Vol. 370, Issue 6514, eaba2644. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba2644

Measuring forces, deformation and mechanical properties of cell nucleus with SENSOCELL

Measuring forces, deformation and mechanical properties of cell nucleus with SENSOCELL

Measuring the forces applied to the nucleus with SENSOCELL:

 

Researchers from Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) , Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and University of Applied Science Upper Austria have recently published an amazing Science article in where they show that the nucleus, the biggest organelle in the cell, translates cell shape changes into a deformation signal regulating cell behavior.

(more…)

Collaborations to carry out cutting edge research

Collaborations to carry out cutting edge research

Impetux collaborates with several Mechanobiology Research projects.

Nucleux is one of them.

With an interdisciplinary vision: physics, biology, mathematics and medicine, the project aims to understand the basic mechanisms behind the complexity of the cell nucleus, and our Sensocell system will be key in this challenge.

With 6 research groups participating, after a first year of the project, this great team have already results and first publications!. Find out more about them here.

Congratulations!

 

Microrheology of soft biological samples using SENSOCELL optical tweezers.

Microrheology of soft biological samples using SENSOCELL optical tweezers.

Microrheology of soft biological samples using SENSOCELL optical tweezers.

 

It is already available an application note where we show how SENSOCELL optical tweezers can be used to measure the viscoelastic properties of soft hydrogels, extracellular matrices or living cells, with stiffnesses ranging from tens of Pa to several kPa and at probing frequencies up to the kHz regime.

(more…)

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