The central goals of mechanobiology are to understand how cells generate force and how they respond to environmental mechanical stimuli. A full picture of these processes requires high-resolution, volumetric imaging with time-correlated force measurements. Here we present an instrument that combines an open-top, single-objective light sheet fluorescence microscope with an atomic force microscope (AFM), providing simultaneous volumetric imaging with high spatiotemporal resolution and high dynamic range force capability (10 pN – 100 nN). With this system we have captured lysosome trafficking, vimentin nuclear caging, and actin dynamics on the order of one second per single-cell volume. To showcase the unique advantages of combining Line Bessel light sheet imaging with AFM, we measured the forces exerted by a macrophage during FcɣR-mediated phagocytosis while performing both sequential two-color, fixed plane and volumetric imaging of F-actin. This unique instrument allows for a myriad of novel studies investigating the coupling of cellular dynamics and mechanical forces.
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