Magnetic tweezers in cell biology

Methods Cell Biol. 2007;83:473-93. doi: 10.1016/S0091-679X(07)83020-2.


We discuss herein the theory as well as some design considerations of magnetic tweezers. This method of generating force on magnetic particles bound to biological entities is shown to have a number of advantages over other techniques: forces are exerted in noncontact mode, they can be large in magnitude (order of 10 nanonewtons), and adjustable in direction, static or oscillatory. One apparatus built in our laboratory is described in detail, along with examples of experimental applications and results.

MeSH terms

  • Biology / instrumentation*
  • Biology / methods
  • Calibration
  • Cell Movement
  • Cytological Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Magnetics / instrumentation*
  • Optical Tweezers*
  • Torque