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Nanoparticle Tension Probes Patterned at the Nanoscale: Impact of Integrin Clustering on Force Transmission

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posted on 2015-12-17, 05:03 authored by Yang Liu, Rebecca Medda, Zheng Liu, Kornelia Galior, Kevin Yehl, Joachim P. Spatz, Elisabetta Ada Cavalcanti-Adam, Khalid Salaita
Herein we aimed to understand how nanoscale clustering of RGD ligands alters the mechano-regulation of their integrin receptors. We combined molecular tension fluorescence microscopy with block copolymer micelle nanolithography to fabricate substrates with arrays of precisely spaced probes that can generate a 10-fold fluorescence response to pN-forces. We found that the mechanism of sensing ligand spacing is force-mediated. This strategy is broadly applicable to investigating receptor clustering and its role in mechanotransduction pathways.