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.
|Number of pages
|Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
|Published - 3 Oct 2015