Probing Cellular Traction Forces by Micropillar Arrays: Contribution of Substrate Warping to Pillar Deflection
mediaposted on 12.05.2010, 00:00 by Ingmar Schoen, Wei Hu, Enrico Klotzsch, Viola Vogel
Quantifying cellular forces relies on accurate calibrations of the sensor stiffness. Neglecting deformations of elastic substrates to which elastic pillars are anchored systematically overestimates the applied forces (up to 40%). A correction factor considering substrate warping is derived analytically and verified experimentally. The factor scales with the dimensionless pillar aspect ratio. This has significant implications when designing pillar arrays or comparing absolute forces measured on different pillar geometries during cell spreading, motility, or rigidity sensing.