Student Seminar

Probing the Elasticity of Living Cells Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 1:30 PM
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Student Seminar
Probing the Elasticity of Living Cells Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Camille Chartrand
Department of Physics, SFU

Nov 9, 2018 at 1:30PM in AQ 3150

Synopsis

Cells are the building blocks of all forms of life, the human body is made of trillions of them. Some of them are highly dynamic: they crawl, change shape and divide. Insight into how a cell structure changes during all steps of these cycles was gained over the years using tools like fluorescence microscopy, but knowledge about their mechanical properties has not kept pace. The elastoviscous behaviour of cells is best described by Young’s modulus, and different experimental techniques to extract it yield answers that vary by up to three orders of magnitude [1]. A reliable spatially resolved method to extract Young’s modulus would be extremely useful to further understand the cells’ volumetric and mechanical properties.

Guan et al. perform quantitative measurements of a HeLa cell height, volume, and Young’s modulus simultaneously, demonstrating a novel technique of noncontact viscoelastic imaging using atomic force microscopy with a long-needle glass probe. [1] This experimental technique has a great range of application on a wide class of living cells under different sample situations.

D. Guan, E. Charlaix, R. Z. Qi, and P. Tong, Noncontact Viscoelastic Imaging of Living Cells Using a Long-Needle Atomic Force Microscope with Dual-Frequency Modulation, Phys. Rev. App. 8, 044010 (2017)