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Proceedings Paper

Leishmania amazonensis chemotaxis under glucose gradient studied by the strength and directionality of forces measured with optical tweezers
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Paper Abstract

Chemotaxis is the mechanism microorganisms use to sense the environment surrounding them and to direct their movement towards attractive, or away from the repellent, chemicals. The biochemical sensing is almost the only way for communication between unicellular organisms. Prokaryote and Eukaryote chemotaxis has been mechanically studied mainly by observing the directionality and timing of the microorganisms movements subjected to a chemical gradient, but not through the directionality and strength of the forces it generates. To observe the vector force of microorganisms under a chemical gradient we developed a system composed of two large chambers connected by a tiny duct capable to keep the chemical gradient constant for more than ten hours. We also used the displacements of a microsphere trapped in an Optical Tweezers as the force transducer to measure the direction and the strength of the propulsion forces of flagellum of the microorganism under several gradient conditions. A 9μm diameter microsphere particle was trapped with a Nd:YAG laser and its movement was measured through the light scattered focused on a quadrant detector. We observed the behavior of the protozoa Leishmania amazonensis (eukaryote) under several glucose gradients. This protozoa senses the gradient around it by swimming in circles for three to five times following by tumbling, and not by the typical straight swimming/tumbling of bacteria. Our results also suggest that force direction and strength are also used to control its movement, not only the timing of swimming/tumbling, because we observed a higher force strength clearly directed towards the glucose gradient.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6441, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues V, 64411R (19 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.701196
Show Author Affiliations
Liliana de Ysasa Pozzo, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, UNICAMP (Brazil)
Adriana Fontes, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, UNICAMP (Brazil)
André A. de Thomaz, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, UNICAMP (Brazil)
Luiz Carlos Barbosa, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, UNICAMP (Brazil)
Diana Copi Ayres, Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP (Brazil)
Selma Giorgio, Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP (Brazil)
Carlos Lenz Cesar, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, UNICAMP (Brazil)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6441:
Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues V
Daniel L. Farkas; Robert C. Leif; Dan V. Nicolau, Editor(s)

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