Probing cell traction forces in confined microenvironments

Phrabha S. Raman, Colin D. Paul, Kimberly M. Stroka, K Konstantopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cells migrate in vivo within three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrices. Cells also migrate through 3D longitudinal channels formed between the connective tissue and the basement membrane of muscle, nerve, and epithelium. Although traction forces have been measured during 2D cell migration, no assay has been developed to probe forces during migration through confined microenvironments. We thus fabricated a novel microfluidic device consisting of deflectable PDMS microposts incorporated within microchannels of varying cross-sectional areas. Using NIH-3T3 fibroblasts and human osteosarcoma (HOS) cells as models, we found that the average traction forces per post decreased upon increasing confinement. Inhibition of myosin-II function by blebbistatin in HOS cells decreased traction forces in unconfined (wide) channels but failed to alter them in confined spaces. Myosin activation by calyculin A also failed to affect traction forces in confining channels but increased them in wide channels. These observations underlie the importance of the physical microenvironment in the regulation of cell migration and cellular traction forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4599-4607
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology
Volume13
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2013

Fingerprint

Myosin Type II
Traction
Fibroblasts
Myosins
Microchannels
Microfluidics
Muscle
Assays
Chemical activation
Cells
Tissue
Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
Osteosarcoma
Confined Spaces
Cell Migration Assays
Basement Membrane
Connective Tissue
Cell Movement
Extracellular Matrix
Epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Probing cell traction forces in confined microenvironments. / Raman, Phrabha S.; Paul, Colin D.; Stroka, Kimberly M.; Konstantopoulos, K.

In: Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, Vol. 13, No. 23, 07.12.2013, p. 4599-4607.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Raman, Phrabha S. ; Paul, Colin D. ; Stroka, Kimberly M. ; Konstantopoulos, K. / Probing cell traction forces in confined microenvironments. In: Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 13, No. 23. pp. 4599-4607.
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