Nanotechnology in Mechanobiology: Mechanical Manipulation of Cells and Organelle While Monitoring Intracellular Signaling

  • Hitoshi Tatsumi
  • Kimihide Hayakawa
  • Masahiro Sokabe


Cell migration requires a regulated interplay of actin-filament dynamics and turnover of cell-matrix adhesions. These processes are mechanically coupled by a large complex of cytoplasmic proteins linking adhesive molecules to cytoskeletons. To explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the force-dependent cell responses including remodeling of cytoskeletons, focal adhesive contacts, and of cell-shapes, it is crucial to apply precisely controlled mechanical stimuli (ranging from pN to nN) to cells and to observe the response with a high spatial–temporal resolution (ranging from 100 nm to 1 μm, and 1 ms to 1 min) in living cells. In this chapter, we describe a variety of methods for controlled mechanical stimulations and for monitoring the responses of cells, and our recent research. We employed precisely controlled mechanical stimuli to explore the molecular mechanism underlying the mechanosensing, and the mechano-induced signaling, e.g., activation of mechanosensitive (MS) channels, intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) increases, adhesive contact formation and mechano-induced reorganization of cytoskeletons in live cells including neuronal growth cones and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).


Actin Cytoskeleton Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuron Growth Cone Actin Stress Fiber Stretch Axis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by Grants-in-aid for General Scientific Research (#13480216 to M.S. and #14580769 to H.T.), Scientific Research on Priority Areas (#15086270 to M.S.) and Creative Research (#16GS0308 to M.S.) from the Ministry of Education Science Sports and Culture and a grant from Japan Space Forum (to M.S. and H.T.).


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hitoshi Tatsumi
    • 1
  • Kimihide Hayakawa
    • 2
  • Masahiro Sokabe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyNagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.ICORP/ORST, Cell Mechanosensing Project, Japan Science and Technology AgencyNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.ICORP/ORST, Cell Mechanosensing Project, Japan Science and Technology AgencyNagoyaJapan

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