McPhee, Gordon Malcolm
Elasticity as an indicator of cell responses to topography and chemically modified surfaces: an atomic force microscopy approach.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis will describes how microfabrication techniques can be combined with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to investigate the potential for cellular elasticity to be used as an indicator of cell behaviour and responses to chemical and topographical surface modifications. To this end, a robust and reliable AFM protocol has been developed to take in to account the many changeable parameters encountered when performing live cell indentation measurements. Complimented with traditional molecular biological methods, such as immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy, the biomechanical properties and functions of cells have been investigated to see how they respond to simple chemical and topographical cues.
Simple surface topographies have frequently been exploited to learn more about cell behaviour and subsequent function however the mechanisms by which the cells senses the surrounding cues and interprets them accordingly has remained somewhat unknown. It is the hypothesis of the work presented here that the arrangement of the internal cytoskeleton as influenced by external factors in responsible for the transmission of tensile strength to the cytoplasm and on to the nuclear membrane. This in turn has the potential to alter transcription within the nucleus ultimately affecting over all cell function.
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