Mechanotransduction is the study of how mechanical stimuli are converted to biochemical signals that elicit a cellular response in the body. This form of study uses live cells that must be present within a viable incubated environment to survive, but must also be positioned for cellular observation using a microscope powerful enough to image very small cells. Active observation of stimulated cells while being exposed to optimal viability in an incubator can be a limiting factor for researchers.
Existing technologies include the use of a small stage-top incubator placed on the stage of a microscope or the employment of a large enclosure surrounding the microscope and stage for incubation. Cytometry and static-state observations of cells work very well with these methods. Delivering mechanical stimuli to cells while not disturbing the gas concentration, humidity, and temperature of these incubation systems is very difficult. Our recent partnership with EtaLuma Microscopes eliminates this difficulty and allows researchers to conduct cell stretching experiments within an incubator on a specialized microscope.
The use of Strex microscope-mountable cell stretching instruments in conjunction with the EtaLuma microscopes in the incubator allows for optimal conditions to study mechanically stimulated cells. Subjects can be observed under brightfield, fluorescence, and phase contrast optics options. Morphology, gene expression, and cell signalling studies are well “within the scope” of capability when these two systems are used together. Custom adjustments can be tailor-fit to support researchers’ needs and allow for improved performance.
Testing and Optimization are well underway for these devices and more details about their best applications will be available soon.
Patrick Hallahan at Amuza Inc. can be contacted for more information and return answers to any questions about the use of this configuration. His contact details are below:
 Paluch, Ewa K, et al. Mechanotransduction: use the force(s). 2015.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4491211/ Accessed 25 Jun. 2018