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Biophys J. 2011 Oct 19;101(8):1880-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.09.008.

Magnetic manipulation of nanorods in the nucleus of living cells.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


The organization of chromatin in the cell nucleus is crucial for gene expression regulation. However, physically probing the nuclear interior is challenging because high forces have to be applied using minimally invasive techniques. Here, magnetic nanorods embedded in the nucleus of living cells are subjected to controlled rotational forces, producing micron-sized displacements in the nuclear interior. The resulting time-dependent rotation of the nanorods is analyzed in terms of viscoelastic parameters of the nucleus, in wild-type and Lamin A/C deficient cells. This method and analysis reveal that Lamin A/C knockout, together perhaps with other changes that result from the knockout, induce significant decreases in the nuclear viscosity and elasticity.

Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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