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    Nanomechanical properties of cells and tissues, in particular their elasticity, play an important role in different physiological and pathological processes. Recently, we have demonstrated that melanin granules dramatically modify nanomechanical properties of melanoma cells making them very stiff and, as a result, less aggressive. Although the mechanical effect of melanin granules was demonstrated in pathological cells, it was never studied in the case of normal cells. In this work, we analyzed the impact of melanin granules on nanomechanical properties of primary retinal pigment epithelium tissue fragments isolated from porcine eyes. The obtained results clearly show that melanin granules are responsible for the exceptional nanomechanical properties of the tissue. Our findings suggest that melanin granules in the retinal pigment epithelium may play an important role in sustaining the stiffness of this single cell layer, which functions as a natural mechanical barrier separating the retina from the choroid. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Michal Sarna, Magdalena Olchawa, Andrzej Zadlo, Dawid Wnuk, Tadeusz Sarna. The nanomechanical role of melanin granules in the retinal pigment epithelium. Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine. 2017 Apr;13(3):801-807

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    PMID: 27979745

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