Live-cell super-resolved PAINT imaging of piconewton cellular traction forces.
IF: 47.990
Cited by: 70


Despite the vital role of mechanical forces in biology, it still remains a challenge to image cellular force with sub-100-nm resolution. Here, we present tension points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (tPAINT), integrating molecular tension probes with the DNA points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (DNA-PAINT) technique to map piconewton mechanical events with ~25-nm resolution. To perform live-cell dynamic tension imaging, we engineered reversible probes with a cryptic docking site revealed only when the probe experiences forces exceeding a defined mechanical threshold (~7-21 pN). Additionally, we report a second type of irreversible tPAINT probe that exposes its cryptic docking site permanently and thus integrates force history over time, offering improved spatial resolution in exchange for temporal dynamics. We applied both types of tPAINT probes to map integrin receptor forces in live human platelets and mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Importantly, tPAINT revealed a link between platelet forces at the leading edge of cells and the dynamic actin-rich ring nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex.

MeSH terms

Biomechanical Phenomena
Blood Platelets
Mechanotransduction, Cellular
Single-Cell Analysis


Brockman, Joshua M
Su, Hanquan
Blanchard, Aaron T
Duan, Yuxin
Meyer, Travis
Quach, M Edward
Glazier, Roxanne
Bazrafshan, Alisina
Bender, Rachel L
Kellner, Anna V
Ogasawara, Hiroaki
Ma, Rong
Schueder, Florian
Petrich, Brian G
Jungmann, Ralf
Li, Renhao
Mattheyses, Alexa L
Ke, Yonggang
Salaita, Khalid

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