Cell-cell interaction forces

Study cell-cell interaction forces and correlate your results with specific cell membrane receptors activity. Quantify cell avidity at single cell resolution in immune cell cell signaling dynamic studies. Such direct and absolute measurements are now possible thanks to the unique force spectroscopy technology included in our SENSOCELL optical tweezers.

cell cell interaction forces measured with optical tweezers

Measure cell-cell interaction forces

SENSOCELL allows manipulating suspended cells to engage cell-cell interactions and obtain direct measurements of their binding forces while having absolute control on the cells orientation and cell cell contact time. Perform dynamic studies of cell cell interaction forces to quantify cell avidity at single cell resolution. Use suspended or adhered target cells expressing different cell membrane receptors for your experiments. Alternatively, functionalized beads and/or substrates can be used to measure receptor-ligand binding forces in diverse experimental configurations like bead-bead, bead-substrate, cell-bead or cell-substrate interactions.

Application example 1. Immune cell-cell interaction forces between T-cells, CAR-T cells and Lymphoma cancer cells.

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Measuring immune cell-cell interaction forces between T-cells, CAR-T cells and Lymphoma cancer cells

In collaboration with Dr. Manel Juan from the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and Dr. Carlos Barcia from the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona (UAB).

Cell-cell adhesion forces of T-cell immune interactions

The study of cell-cell interaction forces is of great importance in research fields like immunophysics. Our optical tweezers platform SENSOCELL allows trapping and manipulating multiple cells simultaneously in such a a way that cell-cell contact can be easily established in a precise manner allowing users to control the cells’ orientation and contact time.

In this example (see Fig. 1) we show how contact is engaged between a lymphoma cancer cell and a T-cell using two optical traps. The first trap (trapping the cancer cell) is fixed while the second trap (over the T-cell) is moved using the “click and drag” mode. The T-cell is moved towards the cancer cell and contact is established. After 10 s, the T-cell is pulled away and a cell-cell adhesion force is measured.

immune cell cell interaction engaged and measured with SENSOCELL optical tweezers

Fig.1 Cell cell interaction established between a lymphoma cancer cell and a T-cell. Initially, the measured trapping force is zero (red line plotted data). After 10 s, the T-cell is pulled away and an increasing force is measured. When the applied force is high enough to break the bond between the two cells, the measured force drops to zero. In this case the cell-cell adhesion force was measured to be 21 pN which is consistent with the expected adhesion force of a single T-cell receptor.

The whole sequence of the experiment can be visualized in the following video:

T-cell & cancer cell-cell interaction forces

CAR-T cells avidity for Lymphoma cancer cells

The same type of experiment was carried out for two different engineered CAR-T cell lines and T-cells in collaboration with Dr. Juan Manel Otero from the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona:

cell cell adhesion forces cell avidity between CAR-T cells and cancer cells

Fig.2 Statistics of cell-cell adhesion forces measured for lymphoma cancer cells in contact with T-cells and CAR-T cells expressing different cell membrane receptors after a cell-cell contact time of 15 s. Each bar represents the data for a set of 9 different samples of each cell type.