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Mechanical Sciences An open-access journal for theoretical and applied mechanics

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Mech. Sci., 8, 23-28, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Mar 2017
Mitochondrial activity detected by cantilever based sensor
Petar Stupar1, Wojciech Chomicki1, Caroline Maillard1, David Mikeladze2, Aleksandar Kalauzi3, Ksenija Radotić3, Giovanni Dietler1, and Sandor Kasas1,4 1Laboratory of Physics of Living Matter, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
2School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
3Institute for multidisciplinary research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
4Plateforme de Morphologie, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Abstract. Our team recently demonstrated that cantilever based devices can detect signature of life in a chemistry independent manner. In this technique, the organism of interest is attached onto a classical AFM cantilever. If alive, it induces nanometre scale oscillations of the cantilever that disappear once the organism is killed. The technique was successfully used on bacteria, yeast, vegetal and mammalian cells. In this work we demonstrate that the method can also be applied to sub-cellular organelles, such as mitochondria. Mitochondria are involved in cellular energy production and are present in most eukaryotic cells. Nowadays, it is believed that mitochondria were originally prokaryotes that colonized eukaryotic cells and that live in an endosymbiotic way ever since. Here we present that mitochondria are also animated by nanometre scale oscillations that depend on their metabolic state and that stop once they are inhibited. This observation opens novel avenues to investigate the numerous mitochondria-related diseases in humans.

Citation: Stupar, P., Chomicki, W., Maillard, C., Mikeladze, D., Kalauzi, A., Radotić, K., Dietler, G., and Kasas, S.: Mitochondrial activity detected by cantilever based sensor, Mech. Sci., 8, 23-28,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Mitochondria are small organelles with key functions inside our cells. Unfortunately, there are a number of diseases that arise from their malfunction. To test whether they are healthy or not, complicated procedures are often required. In the paper, we applied our sensor that detects motion of living microorganisms. We saw that a sensor detecting tiny vibrations is powerful enough to sense the difference between normal and inhibited mitochondria.
Mitochondria are small organelles with key functions inside our cells. Unfortunately, there are...