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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High-throughput optical screening of cellular mechanotransduction.

  • Author(s): Compton, Jonathan L
  • Luo, Justin C
  • Ma, Huan
  • Botvinick, Elliot
  • Venugopalan, Vasan
  • et al.

We introduce an optical platform for rapid, high-throughput screening of exogenous molecules that affect cellular mechanotransduction. Our method initiates mechanotransduction in adherent cells using single laser-microbeam generated micro-cavitation bubbles (μCBs) without requiring flow chambers or microfluidics. These μCBs expose adherent cells to a microTsunami, a transient microscale burst of hydrodynamic shear stress, which stimulates cells over areas approaching 1mm2. We demonstrate microTsunami-initiated mechanosignalling in primary human endothelial cells. This observed signalling is consistent with G-protein-coupled receptor stimulation resulting in Ca2+ release by the endoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, we demonstrate the dose-dependent modulation of microTsunami-induced Ca2+ signalling by introducing a known inhibitor to this pathway. The imaging of Ca2+ signalling, and its modulation by exogenous molecules, demonstrates the capacity to initiate and assess cellular mechanosignalling in real-time. We utilize this capability to screen the effects of a set of small molecules on cellular mechanotransduction in 96-well plates using standard imaging cytometry.

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