Atomic force microscopy (AFM) indentation analysis of cells is a unique method of measuring stiffness of the cell body and physical properties of its pericellular coat. These cell parameters correlate with cells of abnormality and diseases. Viable biological cells can be studied with this method directly in a culture dish with no special preparation. Here we describe a step-by-step method to analyze the AFM force-indentation curves to derive cell mechanics (the modulus of elasticity of the cell body) and the parameters of the pericellular coat (density and the thickness of the coat layer). Technical details, potential difficulties, and points of special attention are described.
Sokolov, I., & Dokukin, M. E. (2018). AFM indentation analysis of cells to study cell mechanics and pericellular coat. In Methods in Molecular Biology (Vol. 1814, pp. 449–468). Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8591-3_27