Focus on time: dynamic imaging reveals stretch-dependent cell relaxation and nuclear deformation
- Journal Article
Among the stimuli to which cells are exposed in vivo, it has been shown that tensile deformations induce specific cellular responses in musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and stromal tissues. However, the early response of cells to sustained substrate-based stretch has remained elusive because of the short timescale at which it occurs. To measure the tensile mechanical properties of adherent cells immediately after the application of substrate deformations, we have developed a dynamic traction force microscopy method that enables subsecond temporal resolution imaging of transient subcellular events. The system employs a novel, to our knowledge, tracking approach with minimal computational overhead to compensate substrate-based, stretch-induced motion/drift of stretched single cells in real time, allowing capture of biophysical phenomena on multiple channels by fluorescent multichannel imaging on a single camera, thus avoiding the need for beam splitting with the associated loss of light. Using this tool, we have characterized the transient subcellular forces and nuclear deformations of single cells immediately after the application of equibiaxial strain. Our experiments reveal significant differences in the cell relaxation dynamics and in the intracellular propagation of force to the nuclear compartment in cells stretched at different strain rates and exposes the need for time control for the correct interpretation of dynamic cell mechanics experiments. © 2021 Biophysical Society Show more
Journal / seriesBiophysical Journal
Pages / Article No.
MoreShow all metadata