Magnetic tweezers are widely used for manipulating small magnetic beads inside the cell cytoplasm in order to gain insight into the structural and mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton. Here we discuss the use of magnetic tweezers for the study of nuclear architecture and the mechanical properties of chromatin in living cells. A custom-built, dedicated micro magnetic tweezer set-up is described. We review progress that has been made in applying this technology for the study of chromatin structure and discuss its prospects for the in situ analysis of nuclear architecture and chromatin function.
- Cell nucleus - chromatin structure - magnetic tweezers - nanoparticles