Membrane tether formation from outer hair cells with optical tweezers
Master of Science
The mechanical properties of the outer hair cells (OHCs) lateral wall are essential to elucidate the mechanism of OHC electromotility. Optical tweezers were used to characterize the mechanical properties of OHC plasma membrane (PM) by pulling tethers. A greater force was required for tether formations from OHC lateral wall (499 pN +/- 152) than from OHC basal end (142 pN +/- 49), consistent with the presence of a more extensive cytoskeleton support beneath the PM at the lateral wall. The apparent PM stiffness, which was estimated by measuring tether force at different tether length, was 3.71 pN/mum for OHC lateral wall and 4.57 pN/mum for OHC basal end. The apparent PM viscosity was measured by pulling tethers at different rates while continuously recording the tether force, and was estimated in the range of 13--33 pN·s/mum.
Biomedical engineering; Biophysics