Novel Method Using Laser in Assays to Induce Mechanotransduction
Background: Mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stresses to a biochemical signal, influences many cell functions including cell motility and proliferation and also modulates cell signaling events in the regulation of sensory neurons and in various molecular pathways such as the Src family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases, ion channels, and the extracellular signal-regulated kinases. Mechanotransduction plays a role in the regulation of blood pressure and the progression of a variety of diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Current tools used to mimic physiological mechanical stresses on/in the cell include optical tweezers and flow chambers. Both these methods are slow and may not be efficiently used in high through put screening (HTS) methods due to the bulky equipment required for a single experiment. Technology: By using pulsed laser radiation, University of California, Irvine researchers have developed a novel methodology to provide a mechanical agonist to single or multiple cells and stimulate cellular mechanotransduction. These researchers have also shown this laser methodology to be highly effective in eliciting a positive mechanotransduction response in SRC kinase. Application: This new laser methodology is easier to operate than optical tweezers and also more compact. The method can easily be deployed with multiwall plates to allow HTS of large compound libraries in a short time. These factors allow this new method to be used in HTS screening for therapeutics in mechanotransduction diseases and other research applications in mechanotransduction research.
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