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Mammalian cells show a large diversity in shape and are both shape-changing and mobile when cultured on conventional uniform substrates. The use of micropatterning techniques limits the number of variable parameters, by imposing shape and standardized adhesive areas on the cells, which facilitates analysis. By changing size or shape of the micropattern, for example, forcing a polar axis on the cell, it is possible to study how these parameters impact organelle organization, distribution, and dynamics inside the cell. To study the mitochondrial network, which is composed of dynamic tubular organelles dependent on the microtubule cytoskeleton for its distribution, it is important to be able to distinguish between distinct mitochondria. Here, we present a practical method with which we spread the cells on large patterns created with deep UV technique, which not only makes the cells uniform in size and shape as well as immobile, and therefore easier to compare and analyze, but also expands the mitochondrial network and allows for an easier tracking of appropriately labeled individual mitochondria. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Andrea Pelikan, James Sillibourne, Stephanie Miserey-Lenkei, Frederique Carlier-Grynkorn, Bruno Goud, Phong T Tran. Studying mitochondria and microtubule localization and dynamics in standardized cell shapes. Methods in cell biology. 2013;115:97-108

PMID: 23973068

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