Development of a MEMS Device for the Determination of Cell Mechanics
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Cell mechanics are directly related to the biological functionality of a cell, and therefore have been extensively studied. Current understanding of the unique relationships associated with mechanical loading conditions and the biological outcomes of a cell is far from complete . The main objective of this thesis work was the design of a device capable of determining mechanical properties including stiffness and Young’s modulus of a biological cell. The device was implemented using micro-electro mechanical systems technology (MEMS), and the cell testing was limited to yeast cells for the purpose of this research. The design consisted of a micro-gripper which performed controlled cell squeezing with a spring of known stiffness. Differential displacements were obtained allowing for the calculation of cell mechanical properties. The incorporation of spatially periodic structures on the moving components of the gripper enabled measurements with 10 nm precision based on discrete Fourier transformation and phase .