In Situ Measurements of Cell Mechanical Properties Using Force Spectroscopy

Meital Reches*, Tal Duanis-Assaf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mechanobiology focuses on how physical forces and the mechanical properties of cells and whole tissues affect their function. The mechanical properties of cells are of particular interest to developmental biology and stem cell differentiation, lymphocyte activation and phagocytic action in phagocytes, and development of malignant tumors and metastases. These properties can be measured on whole tissue and cell culture. Advances in instrument sensitivity and design, as well as improved techniques and scientific know-how achieved over the past few decades, allow researchers to study the mechanical properties of single cells and even at the subcellular level. Particularly, nanoindentation measurements using atomic force microscopy (AFM) mechanically probes single cells and even allows mapping of these traits. This chapter discusses these measurements from the experimental design to the analysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cell elasticity
  • Cell mechanics
  • Force spectroscopy
  • Nanoindentation
  • Single cell


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