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Issue 23, 2014
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Mechanical phenotyping of breast cancer using MEMS: a method to demarcate benign and cancerous breast tissues

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Abstract

The mechanical properties of tissue change significantly during the progression from healthy to malignant. Quantifying the mechanical properties of breast tissue within the tumor microenvironment can help to delineate benign from cancerous stages. In this work, we study high-grade invasive ductal carcinoma in comparison with their matched tumor adjacent areas, which exhibit benign morphology. Such paired tissue cores obtained from eight patients were indented using a MEMS-based piezoresistive microcantilever, which was positioned within pre-designated epithelial and stromal areas of the specimen. Field emission scanning electron microscopy studies on breast tissue cores were performed to understand the microstructural changes from benign to malignant. The normal epithelial tissues appeared compact and organized. The appearance of cancer regions, in comparison, not only revealed increased cellularity but also showed disorganization and increased fenestration. Using this technique, reliable discrimination between epithelial and stromal regions throughout both benign and cancerous breast tissue cores was obtained. The mechanical profiling generated using this method has the potential to be an objective, reproducible, and quantitative indicator for detecting and characterizing breast cancer.

Graphical abstract: Mechanical phenotyping of breast cancer using MEMS: a method to demarcate benign and cancerous breast tissues

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2014, accepted on 10 Sep 2014 and first published on 10 Sep 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00594E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2014,14, 4523-4532
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    Mechanical phenotyping of breast cancer using MEMS: a method to demarcate benign and cancerous breast tissues

    H. J. Pandya, W. Chen, L. A. Goodell, D. J. Foran and J. P. Desai, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 4523
    DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00594E

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