Forces generated by cells play a vital role in many cellular processes such as cell spreading, motility, differentiation and apoptosis. Understanding the mechanics of single cells is essential to delineate the link between cellular force generation/sensing and function. MEMS sensors, because of their small size and fine force/displacement resolution, are ideal for force and displacement sensing at the single-cell level. In addition, the amenability of MEMS sensors to batch fabrication methods allows the study of large cell populations simultaneously, leading to robust statistical studies. In this paper, we discuss various microsystems used for studying cell mechanics and the insights on cell mechanical behavior that have resulted from their use. The advantages and limitations of these microsystems for biological studies are also outlined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering