BIOphysics & SOFT Matter Department of Ultrafast Optics and Nanophotonics

Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg

Traction Force Microscopy TFM consists in measuring the displacement of micron-sized fluorescent beads embedded in a polyacrylamide 3D gel when cells are seeded on a collagen surface (2D TFM) or when they move in a 3D extracellular matrix environment (3D TFM). From the displacement of beads (usually measured by confocal microscopy), vector maps of traction forces (forces applied by the cell on the gel) can be determined. The spatial resolution of TFM depends on the density of beads as well as the accuracy in the displacement measurement. Smaller beads allow to achieve higher densities at the expense of an increase in tracking noise.