1 June 2004 Membrane tether formation from voltage-clamped outer hair cells using optical tweezers
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Outer hair cells contribute an active mechanical feedback to the vibrations of the cochlear structures resulting in the high sensitivity and frequency selectivity of normal hearing. We have designed and implemented a novel experimental setup that combines optical tweezers with patch-clamp apparatus to investigate the electromechanical properties of cellular plasma membranes. A micron-size bead trapped by the optical tweezers is brought in contact with the membrane of a voltage-clamped cell, and subsequently moved away to form a plasma membrane tether. Bead displacement during tether elongation is monitored by a quadrant photodetector to obtain time-resolved measurements of the tethering force. Salient information associated with the mechanical properties of the membrane tether can thus be obtained. Tethers can be pulled from the cell membrane at different holding potentials, and the tether force response can be measured while changing transmembrane potential. Experimental results from outer hair cells and human embryonic kidney cells are presented.
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Feng Qian, Feng Qian, Sergey A. Ermilov, Sergey A. Ermilov, David R. Murdock, David R. Murdock, William E. Brownell, William E. Brownell, Bahman Anvari, Bahman Anvari, } "Membrane tether formation from voltage-clamped outer hair cells using optical tweezers", Proc. SPIE 5331, Nanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications, (1 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.528540; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.528540

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