Quantifying the adaptive mechanical behavior of living cells is essential for the understanding of their inner working and function. Yet, despite the establishment of quantitative methodologies correlating independent measurements of cell mechanics and its underlying molecular kinetics, explicit evidence and knowledge of the sensitivity of the feedback mechanisms of cells controlling their adaptive mechanics behavior remains elusive. Here, a combination of atomic force microscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching is introduced offering simultaneous quantification and direct correlation of molecule kinetics and mechanics in living cells. Systematic application of this optomechanical atomic force microscopy-fluorescence recovery after photobleaching platform reveals changes in the actin turnover and filament lengths of ventral actin stress fibers in response to constant mechanical force at the apical actin cortex with a dynamic range from 0.1 to 10 nN, highlighting a direct relationship of active mechanosensation and adaptation of the cellular actin cytoskeleton. Simultaneous quantification of the relationship between molecule kinetics and cell mechanics may thus open-up unprecedented insights into adaptive mechanobiological mechanisms of cells.
AFM, FRAP, actin cytoskeleton, cell mechanics, kinetics, mechanobiology, turnover