Stretching living cells and embryos
To understand how cells respond to external deformations we developed a polymer stretching device that allows simultaneous high-resolution imaging and high-precision application of mechanical strain. The system was characterized computationally via finite element analysis and experimentally via digital image correlation. This system is simple, easy to use, and allows live-imaging of subcellular dynamics. As an example, this system was used to study actin dynamics in fibroblasts and axonal dynamics in in vivo Drosophila embryos under mechanical stretch. Our results suggest that mechanical stretch induces actin lamellipodial and polymerization dynamics in fibroblasts and axonal contraction in Drosophila embryos.
W. Ahmed, M. H. Kural, T. A. Saif. “A novel platform for in-situ investigation of cells and tis- sues under mechanical strain” Acta Biomaterialia, 6: 2979-90. 2010 (DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2010.02.035) [link]