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Methods Cell Biol. 2015;125:237-54. doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2014.10.006. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Measuring the elasticity of plant cells with atomic force microscopy.

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The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


The physical properties of biological materials impact their functions. This is most evident in plants where the cell wall contains each cell's contents and connects each cell to its neighbors irreversibly. Examining the physical properties of the plant cell wall is key to understanding how plant cells, tissues, and organs grow and gain the shapes important for their respective functions. Here, we present an atomic force microscopy-based nanoindentation method for examining the elasticity of plant cells at the subcellular, cellular, and tissue level. We describe the important areas of experimental design to be considered when planning and executing these types of experiments and provide example data as illustration.


Atomic force microscopy; Elasticity; Plant cell wall; Plant mechanics; Young's modulus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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