Effect of Mechanical Stress on Individual Vimentin Filaments Studied using the C-Trap™


The paper “Nonlinear Loading-Rate-Dependent Force Response of Individual Vimentin Intermediate Filaments to Applied Strain” using LUMICKS’ C-Trap™ has recently been published in Physical Review Letters. Congratulations to all the authors!

The study led by Prof. Sarah Köster, investigated the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells; and more specifically the intermediate filaments. They used combined optical tweezers-fluorescence microscopy to study –  for the first time – the effect of mechanical stress on individual vimentin filaments. It was found that vimentin provides strengths to cells under large deformation, acting appropriately in response to the speed of the deformation. Consequently, with different loading rates, vimentin shows different unfolding regimes.

The technique used in this paper is made commercially available by LUMICKS. Read more about the C-Trap™ optical tweezer fluorescence microscopy here.

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