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Characterizing mechanics of membrane tether from relaxation curve obtained by optical tweezers

By Xuanling Li, Xiaoyu Song, Yinmei Li, Ming Li, Haowei Wang

Posted 07 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.06.285353

Optical tweezers is a powerful tool in the study of membrane tension. Comparing to pulling out an entire membrane tether at one time, the step-like method is more efficient because multiple relaxation curves can be obtained from one membrane tether. However, there is few proper models that describe relaxation curves to characterize mechanical properties of cell membrane. Here we established a model to describe the relaxation curve of HeLa cells based on the relationship between membrane tether diameter and tensions. We obtained effective viscosities and static tensions by fitting relaxation curves to our model. We noticed the delicate structure of relaxation curves contains information of cell skeleton changes and protein diffusion. Our study paved a novel pathway to characterize the dynamics and mechanics of cell membrane. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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