eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2011   Volume No 21 – pages 479-487

Title: Contractile cell forces exerted on rigid substrates

Author: J Köser, S Gaiser, B Müller

Address: Biomaterials Science Center (BMC), University of Basel, c/o University Hospital Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland

E-mail: bert.mueller at

Key Words: Cell contractility, rat-2 fibroblast, in vitro test, atomic force microscopy, biosensor.

Publication date: May 28th 2011

Abstract: Adhesive cells including fibroblasts produce contractile forces to the underlying substrate for their locomotion. Such forces are not only high enough to deform compliant membranes such as silicone but also bend rigid micro-cantilevers. The cell-induced bending of silicon micro-cantilevers was determined using laser deflection during trypsin treatment. The observed cantilever relaxation corresponds to a contractile cell force of (16 ±7) µN per rat-2 fibroblast. The cantilever bending approach represents a unique method for the determination of contractile cell forces on any kind of rigid substrate in desired (physiological) environment. Hence, the fundamental technique allows building cell-based biosensors or should provide a quantitative parameter for characterising the cyto-compatibility of load bearing implant surfaces.

Article download: Pages 479-487 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v021a36