top of page

Sorkin Lab



Some of our current and recent projects:

Migrasome formation

Migrasomes are a recently discovered type of extra-cellular vesicles generated from retraction fibers during cell migration on extra-cellular substrates. These vesicles, of several microns in size, allow cells to release contents at specific locations, which can be taken up by other cells which travel to that site. In this project, we combine micropipette aspiration, dual trap optical tweezers and confocal fluorescence microscopy to reveal the physico-chemical foundations of migrasome formation.


Want to know more?  Read here:  


Membrane fusion in fertilization and viral infection

As the complexity of the cell membrane is very large and the roles of different components (e.g., thousands of different lipids and proteins) are difficult to disentangle, model systems with well-defined composition, the complexity of which can be gradually increased in a controlled manner, are instrumental to advance our understanding of membrane remodeling. We use well-controlled model systems in the form of micro-beads coated with membranes of defined composition, with attached/incorporated proteins of interest, to study protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions in membrane fusion. On the right, a short video demonstrates an optical tweezers measurement, where two beads are brought into contact and interaction forces are measured. Lipids and proteins can be labeled and visualized using confocal fluorescence microscopy, as shown in the gif:

Want to know more?  Read here: 

Membrane remodeling and shape generation

AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) can be used to image vesicles of various sizes, (as well as cells), and to characterize their mechanical properties by analyzing the force-indentation plot that is obtained when ''pocking'' a vesicle by a sharp AFM tip. Such mechanical characterization can help understand the underlying mechanisms that lead to the generation of vesicles.

Want to know more? Read here:

Force propagation in fibrous gels

Cells can communicate mechanically through the extra-cellular matrix.

We want to understand how controlled mechanical manipulation is transmitted

in the fibrous environment. 

Read more here:

Past project: Cell Mechanics


Mechanical properties of cells are important reporters of a cell's condition, as they often change upon disease. We have developed a new approach to measure mechanical properties of cells using acoustically exerted forces. This method allowed us to reveal that red blood cells become more deformable when they uptake extracellular vesicles.

Read popular science story here:

And manuscript here:

bottom of page