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Issue 5, 2017
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Microfluidic iterative mechanical characteristics (iMECH) analyzer for single-cell metastatic identification

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Abstract

This study describes the development of a microfluidic biosensor called the iterative mechanical characteristics (iMECH) analyzer which enables label-free biomechanical profiling of individual cells for distinction between metastatic and non-metastatic human mammary cell lines. Previous results have demonstrated that pulsed mechanical nanoindentation can modulate the biomechanics of cells resulting in distinctly different biomechanical responses in metastatic and non-metastatic cell lines. The iMECH analyzer aims to move this concept into a microfluidic, clinically more relevant platform. The iMECH analyzer directs a cyclic deformation regimen by pulling cells through a test channel comprised of narrow deformation channels and interspersed with wider relaxation regions which together simulate a dynamic microenvironment. The results of the iMECH analysis of human breast cell lines revealed that cyclic deformations produce a resistance in non-metastatic 184A1 and MCF10A cells as determined by a drop in their average velocity in the iterative deformation channels after each relaxation. In contrast, metastatic MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells exhibit a loss of resistance as measured by a velocity raise after each relaxation. These distinctive modulatory mechanical responses of normal-like non-metastatic and metastatic cancer breast cells to the pulsed indentation paradigm provide a unique bio-signature. The iMECH analyzer represents a diagnostic microchip advance for discriminating metastatic cancer at the single-cell level.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic iterative mechanical characteristics (iMECH) analyzer for single-cell metastatic identification

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2016, accepted on 02 Jan 2017 and first published on 04 Jan 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6AY03342C
Citation: Anal. Methods, 2017,9, 847-855
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    Microfluidic iterative mechanical characteristics (iMECH) analyzer for single-cell metastatic identification

    H. Babahosseini, J. S. Strobl and M. Agah, Anal. Methods, 2017, 9, 847
    DOI: 10.1039/C6AY03342C

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