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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e23807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023807. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

High refractive index silicone gels for simultaneous total internal reflection fluorescence and traction force microscopy of adherent cells.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.


Substrate rigidity profoundly impacts cellular behaviors such as migration, gene expression, and cell fate. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy enables selective visualization of the dynamics of substrate adhesions, vesicle trafficking, and biochemical signaling at the cell-substrate interface. Here we apply high-refractive-index silicone gels to perform TIRF microscopy on substrates with a wide range of physiological elastic moduli and simultaneously measure traction forces exerted by cells on the substrate.

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