The Impact of Experimental Conditions on Cell Mechanics as Measured with Nanoindentation
Journal: Nanomaterials (2023)
Institution: Università di Genova
Research Areas: Nanomaterials
Cell Lines: Primary skin fibroblast
Summary: The evaluation of cell elasticity is becoming increasingly significant, since it is now known that it impacts physiological mechanisms, such as stem cell differentiation and embryogenesis, as well as pathological processes, such as cancer invasiveness and endothelial senescence. However, the results of single-cell mechanical measurements vary considerably, not only due to systematic instrumental errors but also due to the dynamic and non-homogenous nature of the sample. In this work, relying on Chiaro nanoindenter (Optics11Life), we characterized in depth the nanoindentation experimental procedure, in order to highlight whether and how experimental conditions could affect measurements of living cell stiffness. We demonstrated that the procedure can be quite insensitive to technical replicates and that several biological conditions, such as cell confluency, starvation and passage, significantly impact the results. Experiments should be designed to maximally avoid inhomogeneous scenarios to avoid divergences in the measured phenotype.