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

ESR14. Shruti Kulkarni


Short biographic note 

I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. At the age of 17, I received the KVPY scholarship for undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Science. With this, I joined the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISER-K), India, where I pursued an integrated 5-year BS-MS course in Biological Sciences.

Life and living beings have always held my attention. Every day that I learned more about it, my curiosity increased. The integrated course gave me a chance to explore all aspects of research in Biology, so that at the end of it, I could select a field that I want to explore further. An advanced Biophysics course propelled me to take up research in that field.

I worked in the Cell Biophysics Lab at IISER-K, where I studied the temporal properties of cell and cortex dynamics. My focus was to develop an analysis tool for Autocorrelation analysis of time series data, as well as to standardize Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Imaging to study cell cortex molecules.

As ESR 14 in Phys2BioMed, I will characterize the visco-elastic properties of various cell lines on soft-supports that mimic the cell's natural micro-environment, using Atomic Force Microscopy.


Project Title

Viscoelastic Properties of Cells on soft Supports


Start date

1st June 2019






Characterising the viscoelastic properties of cells on soft supports.


Expected results

We will develop preparation methods of cells on soft supports, mimicking the natural environment of cells embedded in tissues. In
combination with the methods developed by ESR 13 this will allow to characterise various cell types with respect to their viscoelastic properties depending on the state of disease. Cells of interest are myo-fibroblasts, related to wound healing and the formation of scar tissues, and fibroblasts, related to diseases of the nuclear membrane, and cancer cells from bladder and other tissues.


Planned secondments

1- VMicro, B. Walter (2 months at month 8). Development of AFM probes for cell mechanics measurements. 2 - CHUGR, A. Millet (3 months at month 16). Preparation of tissues for creep response studies. 3- WWU, H. Schillers (1 months at month 20). Preparation of cells for creep response studies. 4 - JUMC, P. Laidler (2 month at month 24). Preparation of cells and tissues for creep response studies. 5 - CNRS, F. Lafont (2 months at month 30). Micropillar structures and creep response of cells.

ESR14 is a joint PhD project (UB/IFJPAN).



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