12th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
Aug 30 - Sept 1, 2021
Invited Talk
Nanomechanical and rheological properties of bladder cancer cells
Malgorzata Lekka
Department of Biophysical Microstructures, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, PL-31342 Krakow, Poland
In recent years, nanomechanical and rheological measurements of cells and tissues, carried out in conditions close to physiological ones, have become a significant biomarker of pathological changes linked with various diseases, including cancer. Simultaneously, it has been demonstrated that such cellular mechanical response is strongly related to the stiffness and composition of cell surroundings. Here, nanoscale atomic force microscopy (AFM, working in force spectroscopy and microrheological modes) was applied to evaluate the mechanical and rheological properties of bladder cancer cells. The direct comparison of cell biomechanics shows that cancerous cells are softer than reference non-malignant cells, regardless of the cancer stage. The observed changes in cell biomechanics were related to the organization of actin filaments being a response of cells to altered microenvironment. How changes in the mechanical phenotype of bladder cancer cells are related to cancerous cell invasiveness is still not fully recognized. Understanding the mechanisms of changes in mechanical properties will potentially allow for more accurate bladder cancer diagnosis and improve prognosis.
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