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Mechanobiology tools for phenotypic studies of cancer


Recent advances in analyzing cancer genes, proteins, and metabolites have produced a vast library of biomarkers to understand, diagnose, and treat cancer. To add to this library, direct measurement of a cell's phenotypic response to environmental stimuli gives rise to physical biomarkers that may be more indicative of physiological behavior. This dissertation discusses the relevance of physical biomarkers in understanding, diagnosing, and enriching cancer cells, along with the corresponding techniques for doing so. The next chapter goes in depth into a tool that analyzes molecular abnormalities in aneuploid cancer cells that divide in mechanically confined environments. The following chapter discusses another tool that fingerprints breast cancer cells by their “relative adhesive signature” as a potential for diagnosing and predicting metastasis.

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