Quantification of focal adhesion dynamics of cell movement based on cell-induced collagen matrix deformation using second-harmonic generation microscopy

Kang YG1, Jang H2, Yang TD1, Notbohm J3, Choi Y1, Park Y2, Kim BM1
Source: J Bio Med Opt
Publication Date: ()
Issue: 23: 1-8
Cells used in publication:
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: bone marrow


Mechanical interactions of living cells with the surrounding environment via focal adhesion (FA) in three dimensions (3-D) play a key role in dynamic biological events, such as tissue regeneration, wound healing, and cancer invasion. Recently, several methods for observing 3-D cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions have been reported, lacking solid and quantitative analysis on the dynamics of the physical interaction between the cell and the ECM. We measured the submicron displacements of ECM deformation in 3-D due to protrusion-retraction dynamics during cell migration, using second-harmonic generation without labeling the matrix structures. We then quantitatively analyzed the mechanical deformation between the ECM and the cells based on spatiotemporal volumetric correlations. The greatest deformations within the collagen matrix were found to occur at sites of colocalization of the FA site-related proteins vinculin and actin, which confirms that FA sites play a critical role in living cells within the ECM as a point for adhesion, traction, and migration. We believe that this modality can be used in studies of cell-ECM interaction during angiogenesis, wound healing, and metastasis