Spectral Analysis of ATP-Dependent Mechanical Vibrations in T Cells

Ishay Wohl, Eilon Sherman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mechanical vibrations affect multiple cell properties, including its diffusivity, entropy, internal content organization, and thus—function. Here, we used Differential Interference Contrast (DIC), confocal, and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopies to study mechanical vibrations in live (Jurkat) T cells. Vibrations were measured via the motion of intracellular particles and plasma membrane. These vibrations depend on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) consumption and on Myosin II activity. We then used spectral analysis of these vibrations to distinguish the effects of thermal agitation, ATP-dependent mechanical work and cytoskeletal visco-elasticity. Parameters of spectral analyses could be related to mean square displacement (MSD) analyses with specific advantages in characterizing intracellular mechanical work. We identified two spectral ranges where mechanical work dominated vibrations of intracellular components: 0–3 Hz for intracellular particles and the plasma-membrane, and 100–150 Hz for the plasma-membrane. The 0–3 Hz vibrations of the cell membrane that we measured in an experimental model of immune synapse (IS) are expected to affect the IS formation and function in effector cells. It may also facilitate immunological escape of extensively vibrating malignant cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number590655
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Wohl and Sherman.


  • DFT
  • malignancy
  • mechanical fluctuations
  • microscopy
  • power of diffusion


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