Project Title

Fast phenotyping of cell mechanics

Start date

1st June 2019




Development and application of fast mechanical phenotyping of cells and tissues combining AFM and microfluidics.

Expected results

We will develop instrumentation, sample preparation, data acquisition and analysis tools for robust and fast AFM mechanical mapping of cells and tissues. To minimise variability and control the spreading conditions, cells will be cultured on micro-patterned substrates mimicking the physiological environment. High-speed AFM instrumentation will be adapted to increase the throughput of mechanical mapping towards c linical use. Similar strategies will be applied to map the mechanics of tissues combined with common histological inspection. The mechanics of cells grown on micro-patterns of varying sizes will be measured by AFM and compared with the mechanics of suspended cells using microfluidics, a high throughput method. This comparison will establish the basis for quantitative, high-throughout mechanical phenotyping for disease diagnosis. Bio-specimens will include malignant and benign tumour cell lines and normal and pathological tissues and extracellular matrix. The secondement at instrumentation company will allow the use of a similar technique, Nanoindenter, on the same samples. The secondment at Biomeca, a company dedicated to pr oviding cell mechanical tests to external clients, will reveal the constraints and needs outside the academic world. The ESR will be also involved in scientific communication, training, and dissemination.

Planned secondments

  1. FAU, W. Goldmann. Correlation between mechanics of cells by AFM grown on micro-patterns of varying size and mechanics of suspended cells using microfluidics (4 months, month 12; 2 months, month 36). 2. OSR, M. Alfano. Preparation and immobilis ation of tissue and ECM (1.5 months, month 20). 3. O11, D. Iannuzzi. Mechanical mapping of cells and tissues using commercial nano-indenter (1.5 months, month 30). Biomeca, P. Milani. Mechanical mapping of cells and tissues using AFM as an external service (1.5 months, month 33).
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Biographic info

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