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Pflugers Arch. 1996;431(6 Suppl 2):R271-2.

Combined use of fluorescence microscopy and micromechanical measurement to assess cell and membrane properties.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The combined use of fluorescence microscopy and micromanipulation provides a powerful approach for understanding the mechanochemistry of cell membranes. Fluorescent labeling of erythrocytes has been used to identify particular populations of cells to assess the effects of abnormal deformability on cell survival. It was found that cells deprived of surface area are either eliminated rapidly from the circulation or undergo a reduction in volume to improve cellular deformability. Fluorescence microscopy can also be used to assess the distribution of specific membrane components during mechanical deformation and fragmentation of cell membranes and so lead to more fundamental understanding of the physical association between the membrane bilayer and the underlying membrane cytoskeleton.

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