Evaluating the mechanical properties of living cells using atomic force microscopy (AFM) - PHYS 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Peter Grutter

Supervisor's Email: grutter [at] physics.mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514 398-6483

Supervisor's Website: www.physics.mcgill.ca/~peter

Supervisor's department: Physics

Course number: PHYS 396 (Physics)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014

Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Project title: Evaluating the mechanical properties of living cells using atomic force microscopy (AFM)

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Mechanical properties of cells play important roles in many biological processes including cell differentiation, regeneration and disease. We propose to measure the elastic modulus of different cell types using AFM. This method consists in indenting a cell with the tip of an AFM cantilever and measuring the applied force from the bending of the cantilever. Fitting the force-indentation curve to the Hertz model can give quantitative measurements of cell stiffness. We intend to combine the Hertz model and compression formulas for different geometries to obtain equations that more precisely express the mechanical properties of cells with different morphological characteristics.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): final report 75%; Lab work 25%.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.