Mechanical Cues for Triggering and Regulating Cellular Movement Selectively at the Single-Cell Level

Evgeny Ogorodnik, Arpad Karsai, Ying X. Liu, Jacopo Di Lucente, Yuqi Huang, Terell Keel, Dominik R. Haudenschild, Lee Way Jin, Gang Yu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell motility plays important roles in many biophysical and physiological processes ranging from in vitro biomechanics, wound healing, to cancer metastasis. This work introduces a new means to trigger and regulate motility individually using transient mechanical stimulus applied to designated cells. Using BV2 microglial cells, our investigations indicate that motility can be reproducibly and reliably initiated using mechanical compression of the cells. The location and magnitude of the applied force impact the movement of the cell. Based on observations from this investigation and current knowledge of BV2 cellular motility, new physical insights are revealed into the underlying mechanism of force-induced single cellular movement. The process involves high degrees of myosin activation to repair actin cortex breakages induced by the initial mechanical compression, which leads to focal adhesion degradation, lamellipodium detachment, and finally, cell polarization and movement. Modern technology enables accurate control over force magnitude and location of force delivery, thus bringing us closer to programming cellular movement at the single-cell level. This approach is of generic importance to other cell types beyond BV2 cells and has the intrinsic advantages of being transient, non-toxic, and non-destructive, thus exhibiting high translational potentials including mechano-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-873
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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