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Probing TM Mechanical Properties

A microfabricated probe is brought into contact with a mouse tectorial membrane (TM), which is attached to a glass slide. Forces applied to the probe base are coupled by the elastic arms to the shearing plate. Relative displacement of the base and shearing plate exert a force on the TM, and the resulting TM displacement can be measured by optical techniques. In this image the plate moves about half as much as the base, indicating that the TM has a stiffness comparable to that of the microfabricated probe.