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Proceedings Paper

Probing the effect of elevated cholesterol on the mechanical properties of membrane-cytoskeleton by optical tweezers
Author(s): Arun S. Rajkumar; Ajit Muley; Suvro Chatterjee; B. M. Jaffar Ali
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Paper Abstract

The composition of the cell membrane and the surrounding physiological factors determine the nature and dynamics of membrane-cytoskeleton coupling. Mechanical strength of a cell is mainly derived from such coupling. In this article, we investigate the effect of extra cellular cholesterol on the membrane-cytoskelaton connectivity of single cell endothelium and consequent remodeling of its mechanical properties. Using optical tweezers as a force probe, we have measured membrane stiffness (km), membrane microviscosity eff ) and the two-dimensional shear modulus (G′(f)) as a function of extracellular cholesterol in the range of 0.1mM to 6mM. We find that membrane stiffness and shear modulus are dependent on cholesterol-induced membrane-cytoskeletal organization. Further, by disrupting the membranecytoskeletal connectivity with Cytochalasin D, an actin delpolymerizing molecule, we recover pure membrane behaviour devoid of any cytoskeleton attachment. However, behaviour of ηeff was found to be unaffected by disruption of membrane-cytoskeleton organization. We infer that cholesterol is playing a distinct role in modulating membrane organization and membrane-cytoskeleton connectivity independently. We further discuss implications of our approach in characterizing cellular mechanics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 2010
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7762, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII, 77621K (3 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860464
Show Author Affiliations
Arun S. Rajkumar, Anna Univ. (India)
Ajit Muley, Anna Univ. (India)
Suvro Chatterjee, Anna Univ. (India)
B. M. Jaffar Ali, Anna Univ. (India)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7762:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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