Multifrequency Optomechanical Stiffness Measurement of Single Adherent Cells on a Solid Substrate with High Throughput

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Mechanical properties of a cell reflect its biological and pathological conditions and there have been active research efforts to develop high-throughput platforms to mechanically characterize single cells. Yet, many of these research efforts are focused on suspended cells and use a flow-through configuration. In this paper, the stiffness of single adherent cells are optomechanically characterized using the vibration-induced phase shift (VIPS) without detaching them from the substrate. With the VIPS measurements, the frequency and amplitude dependency of the cell stiffness is investigated and statistically significant difference in the cell stiffness is confirmed after exposure to various drugs affecting cytoskeleton network. Furthermore, a 3-dimensional finite element model of a cell on a vibrating substrate is developed to extract the mechanical property from the measured VIPS. The developed technique can characterize the mechanical properties of single adherent cells at multiple frequencies with high throughput and will provide valuable clues in understanding cell mechanics. (Figure Presented).

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Analytical Chemistry

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