2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Nanomechanical-Based Functional Analysis: An Additional Platform for the Cytomorphological Analysis for Cancer Diagnosis in the Future

S.E. Cross, Y. Jin, J. Rao and J.K. Gimzewski

nanomechanics, cancer, AFM, pleural effusions

Recent progress in the study of cancer cell motility and invasion has generated a greater understanding of the mechanical properties involved in malignant transformation; in particular, cell mechanics have emerged as important markers for events associated with cytoskeletal organization, cell adhesion and spreading. A key factor involved in tumor cell spreading is cell stiffness, a newly recognized phenotypic event associated with cytoarchitectural changes. Using atomic force microscopy(AFM) we measured nanomechanical properties of cancer cells as a method for elucidating various cellular events associated with malignant transformation. Although several studies have been conducted on cell mechanics of cultured cell lines, there has been relatively little direct analysis of cancer cells obtained from patients. We studied the associated cell stiffness and surface adhesion of cells taken from body(pleural) fluid samples collected from patients with suspected metastatic carcinoma. We show the ability of AFM to detect changes in the local mechanics inherent to both “tumor” and “normal(mesothelial)” cells under analogous conditions. Moreover, AFM was able to accurately perform cytological diagnosis of cancer cells initially undetected by conventional morphological analysis. Our findings indicate that AFM may serve as an excellent tool for quantitatively assessing functional surrogate markers for cancer cell detection, evaluation and diagnosis.

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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract


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