Atomic force microscopy of height fluctuations of fibroblast cells

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Apr;65(4 Pt 1):041910. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.65.041910. Epub 2002 Mar 28.


We investigated the nanometer scale height fluctuations of 3T3 fibroblast cells with the atomic force microscope under physiological conditions. A correlation between these fluctuations and lateral cellular motility can be observed. Fluctuations measured on leading edges appear to be predominantly related to actin polymerization-depolymerization processes. We found fast (5 Hz) pulsatory behavior with 1-2 nm amplitude on a cell with low motility showing emphasized structure of stress fibers. Myosin driven contractions of stress fibers are thought to induce this pulsation.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / physiology
  • 3T3 Cells / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure*
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Glioma / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force* / methods
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured