NIH Research Festival
Biological atomic force microscopy (Bio-AFM) can quantify complex changes in ultramicro morphology and mechanical properties at the nanometer and pico-newton level over a broad time scale, from fast dynamics to long-term cellular evolution. Herein, we report Bio-AFM for novel evaluation and diagnosis of live cells by quantitative characterization of mechanobiological features of lung cancer and other cells in response to chemotherapeutics and multifunctional theranostic nanoparticles. We have embarked on using multimodal and multiphasic Bio-AFM to identify cellular biomechanical response to chemotherapy drugs (e.g. Docetaxel) and drug-loaded nanoparticles and to investigate interactions among cells and chemotherapy drug and nanoparticles toward developing more efficiently targeted and sustained release therapeutics. We have found a spectrum of distinct biomechanical signatures, such as stiffness moduli and adhesions that differ under physiological conditions between drug sensitive and resistant cancer cells. Multifunctional theranostic nanoparticles, such as polymeric nanovehicles, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), carbon dots (Cdots) and polymer nanoparticles with various surface coatings are observed to have differential influences on cellular responses. Our results show that the biomechanical properties of cells change with different treatment sensitively and rapidly.
Scientific Focus Area: Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
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