UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine have proposed a new platform technology to actuate and sense force propagation in real-time for large sheets of cells.
In multicellular organisms, chemical gradients, electrical impulses, and force propagation transmit signals to elicit cell responses distal to the signal origin. Technologies that detect and quantify electrical and chemical signals are well-established, but those for detecting mechanical cell responses have many limitations. Most technologies for quantifying cell mechanical properties (e.g., atomic force microscopy, optical tweezers) are limited to sub-cellular, single-cell, or several-cells-at-a-time scale. Another recently developed method, muscular thin film, allows for quantification of the average ensemble traction force exerted by a group of cells but cannot provide information about individual cell contributions. Since most cells in the body reside within interconnected two- and three-dimensional sheets and clusters, there is a need for technology that can measure changes in mechanical properties across large distances and numbers of cells while maintaining sub-cellular resolution.
The inventors propose a new platform technology, SPOTs (Single-Pixel Optical Technologies), to actuate and sense force propagation in real-time for large sheets of cells. This will be the first enabling approach for simultaneous and quantitative measurement of multiple mechanical properties (viscoelasticity, deformability, traction force, angular and rotation force, force propagation) of millions of interconnected or discrete cells with sub-cellular resolution.
|Patent Cooperation Treaty||Published Application||WO2019010234||01/10/2019||2017-999|
Additional Patent Pending
cell mechanics, cell deformation, real-time imaging, cell signaling, biomass profiling, cell force propagation, single-pixel imaging, real-time, cell traction, mechanical sensor