Micropipette Aspiration for Studying Cellular Mechanosensory Responses and Mechanics

Methods Mol Biol. 2013;983:367-82. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-302-2_20.


Micropipette aspiration (MPA) is a widely applied method for studying cortical tension and deformability. Based on simple hydrostatic principles, this assay allows the application of a specific magnitude of mechanical stress on cells. This powerful method has revealed insights about cell mechanics and mechanosensing, not only in Dictyostelium discoideum but also in other cell types. In this chapter, we present how to set up a micropipette aspiration system and the experimental procedures for determining cortical tension and mechanosensory responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Calibration
  • Culture Techniques
  • Dictyostelium / cytology*
  • Elasticity
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Biological
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Stress, Mechanical