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Quantifying cellular adhesion to extracellular matrix components by single-cell force spectroscopy.

Nature protocols (2010-07-03)
Jens Friedrichs, Jonne Helenius, Daniel J Muller
ABSTRACT

Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single-cell force spectroscopy (SCFS) enables the quantitative study of cell adhesion under physiological conditions. SCFS probes adhesive interactions of single living cells with substrates such as extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and other cells. Here we present a protocol to study integrin-mediated adhesion of HeLa cells to collagen type I using SCFS. We describe procedures for (i) functionalization of AFM cantilevers with the lectin concanavalin A and supports with collagen, (ii) cell handling and attachment to the AFM cantilever, (iii) measurement of adhesion forces and (iv) data analysis and interpretation. Although designed to measure HeLa cell adhesion to collagen, the protocol can be modified for other cell lines and ECM proteins. Compared with other SCFS assays (for example, optical tweezer, biomembrane force probe), AFM-based SCFS has a more versatile force detection range, and it can therefore be used to address a broader range of biological questions. The protocol can be completed in 2-3 d.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Concanavalin A from Canavalia ensiformis (Jack bean), biotin conjugate, Type IV, lyophilized powder

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