Forces experienced by cells internally and externally can alter cellular signaling and function. The authors have developed an elastomeric device for the measurement of protrusive forces generated by cells, in which cells spreading on a planar surface encounter an array of pillars. The protrusive force can be calculated from the deflection of the pillar using simple mechanical considerations. The advantage of this approach is that multiple sensors can be integrated into a single device. Theaverage protrusive force was calculated as 800 pN for NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. The correct quantification of protrusive forces potentially can be used in the development of novel cancer therapies and diagnostic tools.

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