Dynamic effect of beta-amyloid 42 on cell mechanics

Qi Gao, Yuqiang Fang, Shiqing ZHANG, Ho Sze Hersey Wong, Yee Edward Chan, Samantha Sze Man Wong, Kin Lam YUNG, King W.C. Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


1-42 , which is highly toxic to neural cells, is commonly present in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. In this study, dynamic changes in cell mechanics were monitored under Aβ-induced toxicity. To investigate the changes in cellular mechanical properties, we used Aβ 1-42 oligomer at different concentrations to treat human neuroblastoma SH-SY5H cells. Results demonstrated a two-stage dynamic change in cell mechanics during neurodegeneration. Additionally, Young's modulus (YM) of the treated cells increased in a short period. The reasons include alteration in surface tension, osmotic pressure, and actin polymerization. Rough cellular membranes were observed from atomic force microscope (AFM) measurement. However, the cellular YM gradually decreased when the cells were continuously exposed to Aβ 1-42 or to a high concentration of Aβ 1-42 . The major reason for the decreased YM was microtubule disassembly. Dynamic change in YM reflects different activities in cytoplasm in response to Aβ 1-42 . The characteristic changes in cell mechanics provided insights into the dynamic neurodegeneration process of cells induced by Aβ 1-42 oligomer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

User-Defined Keywords

  • AFM
  • Aβ1-42 oligomer
  • Cell mechanics


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