University adds single cell force testing system to study cell interaction

Seeking to study interactions between living cell compartmentalization and tumor spreading, the University of Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany) has chosen the CellHesion 200 system from JPK Instruments (Berlin, Germany) for their Institute of Experimental Physics I, whose studies cover proteins and living cells, as well as small tracer molecules, liquid crystals, polymers, and polymer networks.

Led by Professor Josef A. Käs, the group is working to apply and verify compartmentalization and differential adhesion hypothesis to tumor development and spreading in living cells. They are measuring healthy and cancerous cells of different malignancy with the JPK CellHesion 200, aiming to clarify whether tumor stages can be characterized by cellular adhesiveness.

The CellHesion 200 stand-alone platform—for use with inverted optical or confocal microscopes—enables single cell force spectroscopy (SCFS) and determines cytomechanical characteristics, including stiffness and elasticity, and measures maximum cell adhesion force, single unbinding events, tether characteristics and work of removal data.

Click to Enlarge

Steve Pawlizak, a post-graduate student in Professor Josef A, Käs’ group at the University of Leipzig, uses JPK Instruments' CellHesion 200 single cell force testing system.

The group is also using the CellHesion 200 to study biocompatibility. Magnetic shape memory alloys are a class of smart materials that have a high potential for actuators in biomedical applications. These are tested for their biocompatibility by coating those materials with different cell adhesion proteins and using the CellHesion 200 to measure cell-substrate adhesion.

Steve Pawlizak, a post-graduate student in Professor Käs’ group, comments that the CellHesion 200 enables simultaneous use of SFM and brightfield, phase contrast, epi-fluorescence, and laser scanning microscopy on inverted research microscopes—all essential for their work in cellular biophysics.

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Posted by Lee Mather

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