Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-29327
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Title: The mechanics of single cross-links which mediate cell attachment at a hydrogel surface
Author(s): Çolak, Arzu
Li, Bin
Blass, Johanna
Koynov, Kaloian
del Campo, Aranzazu
Bennewitz, Roland
Language: English
Title: Nanoscale
Volume: 11
Issue: 24
Startpage: 11596
Endpage: 11604
Publisher/Platform: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Year of Publication: 2019
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: The response of cultured cells to the mechanical properties of hydrogel substrates depends ultimately on the response of single crosslinks to external forces exerted at cell attachment points. We prepared hydrogels by co-polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) (PEGDA) and carboxy poly(ethylene glycol) acrylate (ACPEG-COOH) and confirmed fibroblast spreading on the hydrogel after the ACPEG linker was functionalized with the RGD cell adhesive motif. We performed specific force spectroscopy experiments on the same ACPEG linkers in order to probe the mechanics of single cross-links which mediate the cell attachment and spreading. Measurements were performed with tips of an atomic force microscope (AFM) functionalized with streptavidin and ACPEG linkers functionalized with biotin. We compared hydrogels of varying elastic modulus between 4 and 41 kPa which exhibited significant differences in cell spreading. An effective spring constant for the displacement of single cross-links at the hydrogel surface was derived from the distributions of rupture force and molecular stiffness. A factor of ten in the elastic modulus E of the hydrogel corresponded to a factor of five in the effective spring constant k of single crosslinks, indicating a transition in scaling with the mesh size ξ from the macroscopic E ∝ ξ−3 to the molecular k ∝ ξ−2. The quantification of stiffness and deformation at the molecular length scale contributes to the discussion of mechanisms in force-regulated phenomena in cell biology.
DOI of the first publication: 10.1039/C9NR01784D
Link to this record: hdl:20.500.11880/28136
http://dx.doi.org/10.22028/D291-29327
ISSN: 2040-3364
2040-3372
Date of registration: 17-Oct-2019
Faculty: NT - Naturwissenschaftlich- Technische Fakultät
Department: NT - Physik
Professorship: NT - Prof. Dr. Aránzazu del Campo
Collections:UniBib – Die Universitätsbibliographie

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