Membrane tethers can form naturally such as during leukocyte rolling (pre-adhesion) stage. Tethers can also be experimentally pulled from cellular membranes to estimate membrane mechanical and electromechanical properties, including bending modulus, adhesion energy of the membrane-cytoskeleton interaction, tension, and electromechanical forces produced by membranes. This technique has been effectively applied to a variety of cells such as red blood cells [1], neutrophils [2], and cochlear outer hair cells [3,4]. Fig. 1 presents the experiment where tethers are pulled from cellular membranes using optically trapped beads.

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