Validation tool for traction force microscopy Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2015

start page

  • 1377

end page

  • 1385


  • 13


  • 18

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1025-5842

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-8259


  • Abstract: Traction force microscopy (TFM) is commonly used to estimate cells' traction forces from the deformation that they cause on their substrate. The accuracy of TFM highly depends on the computational methods used to measure the deformation of the substrate and estimate the forces, and also on the specifics of the experimental set-up. Computer simulations can be used to evaluate the effect of both the computational methods and the experimental set-up without the need to perform numerous experiments. Here, we present one such TFM simulator that addresses several limitations of the existing ones. As a proof of principle, we recreate a TFM experimental set-up, and apply a classic 2D TFM algorithm to recover the forces. In summary, our simulator provides a valuable tool to study the performance, refine experimentally, and guide the extraction of biological conclusions from TFM experiments.


  • boussinesq solution; fourier transform traction cytometry; cell traction forces; simulator; computational methods; deformation; simulators; cell traction force; cytometry; experimental set up; proof of principles; traction force microscopies; traction forces; validation tools; raction (friction); hydrogel; algorithm; atomic force microscopy; cell adhesion; computer program; computer simulation; elasticity; fourier analysis; mechanical stress; mechanics; optics; procedures; algorithms; cell adhesion; computer simulation; elasticity; fourier analysis; hydrogels; mechanical processes; photonics; software; stress; mechanical