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Nat Methods. 2014 Dec;11(12):1229-32. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3145. Epub 2014 Oct 12.

A DNA-based molecular probe for optically reporting cellular traction forces.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
2
X-Chem, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.
3
1] Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [2] The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
4
1] Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
5
Biophysics Program, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
6
1] Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. [2] Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
7
1] Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. [2] Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [3] The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

We developed molecular tension probes (TPs) that report traction forces of adherent cells with high spatial resolution, can in principle be linked to virtually any surface, and obviate monitoring deformations of elastic substrates. TPs consist of DNA hairpins conjugated to fluorophore-quencher pairs that unfold and fluoresce when subjected to specific forces. We applied TPs to reveal that cellular traction forces are heterogeneous within focal adhesions and localized at their distal edges.

PMID:
25306545
PMCID:
PMC4247985
DOI:
10.1038/nmeth.3145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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