6th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
September 7-9, 2015
|PoC - Physics of Cancer - Annual Symposium|
Feeling for cell function: Mechanical phenotyping at 100 cells/sec
Technical University Dresden, BIOTEC, Tatzberg 47/49, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Contact: | Website
The mechanical properties of cells have long been heralded as a label-free, inherent marker of biological function in health and disease. Wide-spread utilization has so far been impeded by the lack of a convenient measurement technique with sufficient throughput. To address this need, we introduce real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC) for the continuous mechanical single-cell characterization of large populations (> 100.000 cells) with analysis rates greater than 100 cells/s, approaching that of conventional fluorescence-based flow cytometers. Using RT-DC we can sensitively detect cytoskeletal alterations, distinguish cell cycle phases, track hematopoietic stem cell differentiation into distinct lineages and characterize cell populations in whole blood by their mechanical fingerprint. Our results indicate that cell mechanics can define cell function, can be used as an inherent cell marker and could serve as target for novel therapies. Mechanical phenotyping adds a new functional, marker-free dimension to flow cytometry with diverse applications in biology, biotechnology and medicine.