Biomechanics in health and disease:
advanced physical tools for innovative early diagnosis
H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 n. 812772

ESR13. Sandra Pérez Domínguez


Short biographic note 

Sandra Pérez Domínguez was born and grown up in a small village in Navarra, a province of Spain. She moved to Zaragoza where she got her BSc Degree in Chemistry and her Master in Molecular and Cellular Biology in the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

For her MSc thesis, she joined the Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon and the thesis main aim was focused on the analysis of the interaction forces between an enzyme (Ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase, FNR) and its substrate (NADP+) using the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in his variant Dynamic Force Spectroscopy (DFS).

In the meantime, she worked in a wine cellar and in analysis laboratory as chemist and finally not long ago, she had the opportunity to go abroad and gain experience, living in Angers, France, where she was able to improve her French language. Over the next three years, she will be hired at the University of Bremen (Germany) to perform her PhD within the Phy2BioMed project under the supervision of Manfred Radmacher.


Email: /

Project Title

Creep Response of Cells in Diseases

Start date

1st June 2019




Developing instrumentation to measure reliably viscoelastic properties of cells and tissues to determine the mechanical phenotype.

Expected results

This ESR will develop variants of AFM allowing to measure the creep response of cells and tissues. Beyond instrumentation, this also
requires the development of models for the viscoelastic behaviour of cells and tissues and data analysis tools to obtain values for storage and loss moduli. The methods will be tested on cancer cell lines available at UB and IFJPAN, which have been shown to exhibit a well-defined mechanical fingerprint. The elaborated methodology of creep measurements and theoretical models will be applied to evaluate viscoelastic phenotype in cancer tissues. This ESR is shared with IFJPAN in a pilot joint doctorate project.

Planned secondments

1– INSERM, F. Rico (3 months at month 6). Developing models for viscoelastic response of cells & tissues. 2 - IFJPAN, M. Lekka (2 months at month 10). Creep response of cancer cells. 3 - BioMeca, P. Milani (1.5 months at month 13). Validation of analysis of cell mechanics data. 4 - OSR, M. Alfano (1 month at month 18). Preparation of cells and tissues for creep response studies. 5 - IBEC, D. Navajas (2 months at month 24). Creep response of lung cells. 6 – UMIL, A. Podestà (2 months at month 13). Characterisation and Interferometric calibration of AFM probes.


Atomic force microscopy for cell mechanics and diseases. Sandra Pérez-Domínguez, Shruti G. Kulkarni, Carmela Rianna, Manfred Radmacher. Neuroforum 26, 101-109 (2020). DOI: 10.1515/nf-2020-0001