Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies, ETH Zurich, SWITZERLAND

Monday 18 March 2019 | 12:00 noon

Reference-free traction force microscopy

(Host: M. Giacca)

Cells apply forces to their surroundings to perform basic biological activities, including division, adhesion, and migration. Similarly, cell populations in tissues and organs coordinate forces in physiological processes of morphogenesis and repair. These actions are highly regulated to yield the correct development and function of the body. In fact, modifications of this order are at the onset of pathological events. To access this subtle layer of cell communication, novel engineering technologies are needed. These should enable the measurement of forces at the cellular and multicellular level, and with a temporal and spatial resolution which is fully compatible with the pace of biological phenomena under investigation. I shall present a novel technology for the reference-free evaluation of cell mediated forces which is based on the nanoscale printing of quantum dot inks. Its application to the study of complex activities in individual cells and cell ensembles, will provide a validation of the new method.