Transient and Permanent Alterations of Cell Membrane Fluidity Induced by Low Intensity Medical Ultrasounds
Membrane fluidity, a broad term adopted to describe the physical state of biological membranes, can be altered by local pressure variations, suchones exerted by ultrasound exposure. The alterations of lipid spatial disposition, clustering, freedom of mobility, and/or their interactions with membrane proteins activate signal transduction pathways, regulating several cellular functions.This work is focused on the in vitro study of the effects on membrane fluidity induced by medical ultrasounds in murine fibroblast cells. Upon cells exposure at low intensity ofultrasounds, transient and permanent alterations of cell membrane fluidity in different subcellular compartments are detectedat a submicrometric scale. These alterations of membrane physical statecould provide the missing molecular mechanism linking mechanical stress and signal transduction.
Keywords- Membrane fluidity; functional two photon microscopy; mechanotrasduction; image segmentation; ultrasounds