UMR 5672

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Soutenance de Laura Streppa

Characterizing mechanical properties of living myoblasts with single cell indentation experiments: application to Duchenne muscular dystrophy
When Mar 31, 2017
from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Salle des thèses
Contact Name
Attendees Laura Streppa
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This interdisciplinary thesis was dedicated to the atomic force microscopy (AFM) characterization of the mechanical properties of myoblasts (murine and human) and myotubes (murine). We reported that the mechanical properties of these cells were modified when their actin cytoskeleton (CSK) dynamics was inhibited or altered. Recording single AFM force indentation curves, we showed that adherent layers of myoblasts and myotubes introduced on the AFM cantilever an extra hydrodynamic drag as compared to a solid wall. This phenomenon was dependent on the cantilever scan speed and not negligible even at low scan velocities (1μm/s). We observed that the mechanical properties of the muscle precursor cells became non-linear (plastic behaviour) for large local deformations (>1μm) and that they varied depending on the state, type and environment of the cells. Combining AFM experiments, viscoelastic modeling and multi-scale analyzing methods based on the wavelet transform, we illustrated the variability of the mechanical responses of these cells (from viscoelastic to viscoplastic). Through AFM force indentation curves analysis, morpho-structural imaging (DIC, fluorescence microscopy) and pharmacological treatments, we enlightened the important role of active (ATP-dependent) processes in myoblast mechanics, focusing especially on those related to the molecular motors (myosin II) coupled to the actin filaments. In particular, we showed that the perinuclear actin stress fibers could exhibit some abrupt remodelling events (ruptures), which are characteristic of the ability of these cells to tense their CSK. Finally, we showed that this approach can be generalized to some human clinical cases, namely primary human myoblasts from healthy donors and patients affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, paving the way for broader studies on different cell types and diseases.