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Are cells ticklish?

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Cells are sensitive to their mechanical environment: pressure or shear can provoke biochemical responses. In order to accurately test the reaction of adherent cells to mechanical stimulations, we developed magneto-active substrates.

Magneto-active substrates for local mechanical stimulation of living cells
Des micro-piliers en fer inclus dans un elastomère permettent de chatouiller des cellules adhérentes. Visualisation en microscopie de fluorescence de la cellule, des billes fluorescentes et du pilier. Carte des contraintes mécaniques montrant les zones que la cellule a renforcées (rouge) et celles qu’elle a relâchées (bleu) après la stimulation mécanique.

Thanks to iron micro-pillars embedded in a layer of elastic material, we are able to pull locally on a part of the cell. This device being included in a microscope, we can observe in live the evolution of different fluorescent markers when a living cell is stimulated. As a proof of principle of this new experimental system, we show that cells are ticklish: just after a mechanical stimulation, they became restless!
Une collaboration LIPhy-Néel-G2Elab

Magneto-active substrates for local mechanical stimulation of living cells, Cécile Bidan, Mario Fratzl, Alexis Coullomb, Philippe Moreau, Alain Lombard, Irène Wang, Martial Balland, Thomas Boudou, Nora Dempsey, Thibaut Devillers and Aurélie Dupont, Scientific Reports 8, 1464 (2018)

Link to Institut de Physique - CNRS