Nano Archive

Nano-opto-mechanical characterization of neuron membrane mechanics under cellular growth and differentiation

Gopal, Ashwini and Luo, Zhiquan and Lee, Jae Young and Kumar, Karthik and Li, Bin and Hoshino, Kazunori and Schmidt, Christine and Ho, Paul S. and Zhang, Xiaojing (2008) Nano-opto-mechanical characterization of neuron membrane mechanics under cellular growth and differentiation. BIOMEDICAL MICRODEVICES, 10 (5). pp. 611-622. ISSN 1387-2176 (Print) 1572-8781 (Online)

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We designed and fabricated silicon probe with nanophotonic force sensor to directly stimulate neurons (PC12) and measured its effect on neurite initiation and elongation. A single-layer pitch-variable diffractive nanogratings was fabricated on silicon nitride probe using e-beam lithography, reactive ion etching and wet-etching techniques. The nanogratings consist of flexure folding beams suspended between two parallel cantilevers of known stiffness. The probe displacement, therefore the force, can be measured through grating transmission spectrum. We measured the mechanical membrane characteristics of PC12 cells using the force sensors with displacement range of 10 mu m and force sensitivity 8 mu N/mu m. Young's moduli of 425 +/- 30 Pa are measured with membrane deflection of 1% for PC12 cells cultured on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate coated with collagen or laminin in Ham's F-12K medium. In a series of measurements, we have also observed stimulation of directed neurite contraction up to 6 mu m on extended probing for a time period of 30 min. This method is applicable to measure central neurons mechanics under subtle tensions for studies on development and morphogenesis. The close synergy between the nano-photonic measurements and neurological verification can improve our understanding of the effect of external conditions on the mechanical properties of cells during growth and differentiation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:mechanotransduction; cytomechanics; PC12; cell membrane; growth; differentiation; nanogratings; micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS); force sensor
Subjects:Analytical Science > Microscopy and probe methods
Biomedical Science > Nanobiotechnology
ID Code:1432
Deposited By:Farnush Anwar
Deposited On:12 Dec 2008 11:24
Last Modified:12 Dec 2008 11:24

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