Atomic force and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy for the study of force transmission in endothelial cells
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) were configured to examine the transmission of force applied from the apical cell membrane to the basal cell membrane of HUVECs. The precise localized mechanical perturbations, resulted in a global rearrangement of focal contacts at the basal membrane. The apical cell surface displayed a range of elastic moduli. Although the response remained global whether the region was soft or stiff, force application over the nuclear region appeared to produce a more consistent change in contact area, while the contact area responded variably to the force on the edge of the cell.