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Three-Dimensional Traction Force Microscopy: A New Tool for Quantifying Cell-Matrix Interactions

Franck, Christian and Maskarinec, Stacey A. and Tirrell, David A. and Ravichandran, Guruswami (2011) Three-Dimensional Traction Force Microscopy: A New Tool for Quantifying Cell-Matrix Interactions. PLoS ONE, 6 (3). Art. No. e17833. ISSN 1932-6203. PMCID PMC3066163.

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The interactions between biochemical processes and mechanical signaling play important roles during various cellular processes such as wound healing, embryogenesis, metastasis, and cell migration. While traditional traction force measurements have provided quantitative information about cell matrix interactions in two dimensions, recent studies have shown significant differences in the behavior and morphology of cells when placed in three-dimensional environments. Hence new quantitative experimental techniques are needed to accurately determine cell traction forces in three dimensions. Recently, two approaches both based on laser scanning confocal microscopy have emerged to address this need. This study highlights the details, implementation and advantages of such a three-dimensional imaging methodology with the capability to compute cellular traction forces dynamically during cell migration and locomotion. An application of this newly developed three-dimensional traction force microscopy (3D TFM) technique to single cell migration studies of 3T3 fibroblasts is presented to show that this methodology offers a new quantitative vantage point to investigate the three-dimensional nature of cell-ECM interactions.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Tirrell, David A.0000-0003-3175-4596
Ravichandran, Guruswami0000-0002-2912-0001
Additional Information:© 2011 Franck et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received September 24, 2010; Accepted February 15, 2011; Published March 29, 2011. Editor: Igor Sokolov, Clarkson University, United States of America. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR # 0520565) through the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials (CSEM) at the California Institute of Technology. S.A.M. had additional support from a predoctoral National Research Service Award fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors thank Professor S.E. Fraser’s laboratory for providing GFP-transfected 3T3 fibroblasts and Petros Arakelin for his technical assistance. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: CF SAM DAT GR. Performed the experiments: CF SAM. Analyzed the data: CF SAM DAT GR. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: CF SAM. Wrote the paper: CF SAM DAT GR.
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Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC3066163
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110429-100954190
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Official Citation:Franck C, Maskarinec SA, Tirrell DA, Ravichandran G (2011) Three-Dimensional Traction Force Microscopy: A New Tool for Quantifying Cell-Matrix Interactions. PLoS ONE 6(3): e17833. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017833
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23496
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 May 2011 17:32
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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