Nanoscale mechanical property measurements in pathology are a relatively new field of research. It is becoming increasingly recognized that mechanical behavior is an essential factor in cell function and that mechanical property changes occur under certain pathological conditions. Mechanical signals communicated via mechanosensing and mechanotrasduction can regulate cell behavior and lead to structural modifications within the cell. Additionally, biochemical signals can cause cells to undergo molecular and cellular changes by altering their cytoskeleton and modifying cell interactions with the surrounding environment. Quantitative measurements of pathologically induced mechanical property changes bring new insights into the identification, evolution, and treatment of disease.
Bruker’s suite of nanomechanical testing techniques provides quantitative mechanical property characterization on the cellular level to measure the mechanical fingerprint of disease. From the stiffness of calcified tissues to the viscoelastic response and surface adhesion characteristics of soft tissues, Bruker’s Hysitron nanoindentation equipment enables the measurement of mechanical biophysical changes indicative of cellular function.