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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Study of Cell Mechanics and Surface Rheology of Cancer Cells using High Throughput Microfluidic Device

  • Author(s): Jhaveri, Dweep
  • Advisor(s): Haun, Jered B
  • et al.

Cancer is a heterogeneous disease and the number of cancer deaths are rising. To know more about it we studied the mechanical properties of cancer cells and the factors causing the cells to grow, thus improving on the ongoing cancer diagnostic techniques. The current diagnostic techniques are time consuming and expensive, in order to accelerate the diagnosis we experimented on the cancer cells using a microfluidic platform and tried to create a new parameter which can be used to diagnose cancer. By using microfluidic devices, we measured the deformability of various cancer cell lines by passing the cells through it. Forces acting on the cancer cells were varied by using two different microfluidic devices, namely hydropipetting device and squishing device. The cell lines deformed with different magnitudes due to different forces acting on different axis of the cells. We correlated the deformability to surface rheology. The ideology behind the process was to validate whether certain proteins present in the cell are responsible for increased deformability of the cells. We verified it by testing a breast cancer cell line induced with a gene causing it to express more MUC1. We found that increased MUC1 expression increased deformability independent of cell elasticity (internal) due to changed surface rheology (external).

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