Biomolecular tweezers facilitate study of mechanical force effects on cells

March 10, 2014 12:13 PM

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A new type of biomolecular tweezers could help researchers study how mechanical forces affect the biochemical activity of cells and proteins. The devices—too small to see without a microscope—use opposing magnetic and electrophoretic forces to precisely stretch the cells and molecules, holding them in position so that the activity of receptors and other biochemical activity can be studied.

Arrays of the tweezers could be combined to study multiple molecules and cells simultaneously, providing a high-throughput capability for assessing the effects of mechanical forces on a broad scale. Details of the devices, which were developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology an...

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