Nano-cone induced cell deformations

First biophysical experiments were conducted on 2PP-DLW fabricated passive cell environments. The experiment aims to further resolve the role that force induced membrane deformations play in intracellular chemical signaling. Fabrication of biopolymeric nano-cones by 2PP-DLW allowed for the controlled and reproducible fabrication on glass substrates with shapes tailored by adjusting laser writing parameters. When applied in cell experiments, this can lead to a more detailed understanding of the way local forces on the PM trigger intracellular chemical processes, in dependence of the exact shape of the force inducing nano-cones. In the particular application of membrane deformation, the curvature radius of the nano-cone, hence of the membrane invagination, is an important parameter. The curvature-sensing proteins under investigation are N-BAR domain proteins. A controlled analysis of the effect of intracellular chemical processes in dependence of the exact shape of the PM curvature is enabled by 2PP-DLW fabricated cell environments.

Figure 2: Left: SEM image of a single voxel, presenting aheight of 660 nm at 260 nm diameter, in sideview. Fibroblast (3T3) cells cultured on a coverslip featuring arrays of nanocones. Middle: Bright field image showing cells in the area of interest. Not all cells overlap with cone arrays (inset). Right: Fluorescence image of vivid cell on cone array, transfected on PM (green) and N-BAR domain proteins (orange).