Reversible Changes in Cell Morphology due to Cytoskeletal Rearrangements Measured in Real-Time by QCM-D
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012

The mechanical properties and responses of cells to external stimuli (including drugs) are closely connected to important phenomena such as cell spreading, motility, activity, and potentially even differentiation. Here, reversible changes in the viscoelastic properties of surface-attached fibroblasts were induced by the cytoskeleton-perturbing agent cytochalasin D, and studied in realtime by the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) technique. QCM-D is a surface sensitive technique that measures changes in (dynamically coupled) mass and viscoelastic properties close to the sensor surface, within a distance into the cell that is usually only a fraction of its size. In this work, QCM-D was combined with light microscopy to study in situ cell attachment and spreading. Overtone-dependent changes of the QCM-D responses (frequency and dissipation shifts) were first recorded, as fibroblast cells attached to protein-coated sensors in a window equipped flow module. Then, as the cell layer had stabilised, morphological changes were induced in the cells by injecting cytochalasin D. This caused changes in the QCM-D signals that were reversible in the sense that they disappeared upon removal of cytochalasin D. These results are compared to other cell QCM-D studies. Our results stress the combination of QCM-D and light microscopy to help interpret QCM-D results obtained in cell assays and thus suggests a direction to develop the QCM-D technique as an even more useful tool for real-time cell studies.


quartz-crystal microbalance

supported lipid-bilayers










Nina Tymchenko

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Biologisk fysik

Erik Nilebäck

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Biologisk fysik

Marina Voinova

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Elektronikmaterial

Julie Gold

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Biologisk fysik

Bengt Herbert Kasemo

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Kemisk fysik

Sofia Svedhem

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Biologisk fysik


19348630 (ISSN) 15594106 (eISSN)

Vol. 7 1-4 43-9 43


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