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Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy
Department of Physics and Astronomy and Center for Nanoscopic Physics, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA 02155, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2013; in revised form: 16 July 2013 / Accepted: 18 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
Abstract: Mechanical interactions play a key role in many processes associated with neuronal growth and development. Over the last few years there has been significant progress in our understanding of the role played by the substrate stiffness in neuronal growth, of the cell-substrate adhesion forces, of the generation of traction forces during axonal elongation, and of the relationships between the neuron soma elastic properties and its health. The particular capabilities of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), such as high spatial resolution, high degree of control over the magnitude and orientation of the applied forces, minimal sample damage, and the ability to image and interact with cells in physiologically relevant conditions make this technique particularly suitable for measuring mechanical properties of living neuronal cells. This article reviews recent advances on using the AFM for studying neuronal biomechanics, provides an overview about the state-of-the-art measurements, and suggests directions for future applications.
Keywords: Atomic Force Microscopy; neurons; cellular elasticity; cellular biomechanics; cytoskeletal dynamics
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Spedden, E.; Staii, C. Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 16124-16140.
Spedden E, Staii C. Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(8):16124-16140.
Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian. 2013. "Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 8: 16124-16140.