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Comment
. 2012 Jul 10;109(28):11060-1.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208617109. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Cells Gain Traction in 3D

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Cells Gain Traction in 3D

Warren C Ruder et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. .
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
IFM reveals 3D intracellular and junction tensions in endothelial cells. (A) Traditional 2D TFM detects only horizontal displacements in beads embedded in a flexible substrate of known stiffness, allowing the determination of the traction forces applied by cells to their substrate. (B) 3D TFM determines both the horizontal (δh) and vertical (δv) components of the displacement vector (δ), allowing calculation of a 3D traction force vector. For IFM, mathematically balancing forces across a collection of adjacent cells allows intracellular and junction tensions to be estimated. Additionally, fluid flow (red arrow) can be combined with IFM to apply shear force to cells cultured on flexible substrates. (C) In the body, endothelial cells sense shear force generated by flow in the blood vessel lumen and balance stress using a complex collection of structural protein components, including cytoskeletal stress fibers such as actin (red lines), focal adhesion complexes (red and purple ellipses) that attach to their substrate (basement membrane), and adherens junction complexes (green ellipses) that connect neighboring cells. Although this study has implications for understanding atherosclerosis, the underlying concepts are broadly applicable to fields ranging from environmental mechanics to cancer treatment.

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