Biomechanical properties of living cells and tissues

We have developed techniques to mechanically probe individual cells to measure their mechanical properties and assess their biological response. For example, using magnetic microbeads and controlled magnetic fields, we may apply precise forces to cell surface receptors.

This technique, co-developed with Dr. Ben Matthews and Prof. Don Ingber at Harvard Medical School, allows optical tracking of the intracellular displacement field. These and other methods are used to dissect the mechanisms by which living cells sense and respond to mechanical forces.

Novel dynamic rheological behavior of individual focal adhesions measure within single cells using electromagnetic pulling cytometry. Overby et al. 2005 ActaBiomaterialia.