In biological tissue, complex mechanisms of cellular response are closely linked to the mechanical environment that cells experience. The key to understanding these mechanisms may lie in measurement of local mechanical fields near living cells and between cells. We have developed a novel optical measurement technique which combines the light elastically scattered from gold nanorods with digital image analysis to track local deformations that occur in vitro between cells, in real time, under darkfield optical microscopy. We find that measurable tension and compression exist in the intercellular matrix at the length scale of micrometers, as the cells assess, adapt, and rearrange their environment.
- mechanical fields,
- optical measurement technique,
- darkfield optical microscopy
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_stone/12