Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 10: Poster III

BP 10.16: Poster

Montag, 16. März 2020, 17:30–19:30, P2/3OG

Measuring intracellular stiffness in epithelial cells — •Bart E. Vos1, Sebastian Hurst1, Ying Zhang2, Paul H.J. Kouwer2, and Timo Betz11Institute of cell biology, ZMBE, Münster, Germany — 2Spectroscopy and Catalysis, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Epithelial cells form the boundary between an organ (or an entire organism) and its environment. Hence, epithelial cells experience a strong asymmetry in their environment: "out" versus "in". It is therefore not surprising that epithelial cells are strongly polarized; for example, the actin meshwork is denser at the apical, or "outward facing"-side of the cell, while the nucleus is always located at the basal, or "inward facing"-side of the cell. However, to date it remains unclear if and how polarity is established and maintained by a gradient in intracellular stiffness and/or motor activity. Furthermore, since the extracellular matrix (ECM) is of crucial importance to cells, we hypothesize that variations in the extracellular matrix also have an influence on intracellular mechanics.

Here I will present a project that focuses on measurement of intracellular stiffness and activity in MDCK-cells. Using both active and passive microrheology, we obtain cellular stiffness and activity as a function of position within the MDCK-cell. Using a synthetic, bio-mimicking ECM, we systematically vary the mechanical environment of the epithelial cells, where we observe a strong response in the shape and growth rate of the cells.

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