Imaging deformation of adherent cells due to shear stress using quantitative phase imaging.
We present a platform for detecting cellular deformations from mechanical stimuli, such as fluid shear stress, using rapid quantitative phase imaging. Rapid quantitative phase imaging was used to analyze changes in the optical path length of adherent skin cancer cells during mechanical displacement. Both the whole-cell phase displacement and the resultant shift of the cellular center of mass were calculated over the duration of the stimulus. Whole-cell phase displacement images were found to match expectation. Furthermore, center-of-mass shifts of adherent cells were found to resemble that of a one-dimensional Kelvin-Voigt (KV) viscoelastic solid. Cellular steady-state displacements from step fluid shear stimuli were found to be linearly related to the shear stress. Shear stiffness constants for cells exposed to a cytoskeletal disrupting toxin were found to be significantly lower than unexposed cells. This novel technique allows for elastographic analysis of whole-cell effective shear stiffness without the use of an exogenous force applicator, a specialized culture substrate, or tracking net perimeter movement of the cell.
Eldridge, WJ; Sheinfeld, A; Rinehart, MT; Wax, A
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