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Monitoring Dynamic Spiculation in Red Blood Cells with Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy


Phospholipids are critical structural components of the membrane of human erythrocytes and their asymmetric transbilayer distribution is essential for normal cell functions. Phospholipid asymmetry is maintained by transporters that shuttle phospholipids between the inner leaflet and the outer leaflet of membrane bilayer. When exogenous, short acyl chain, phosphatidylcholine (PC) or phosphatidylserine (PS) are incorporated into erythrocytes, a discocyte-to-echinocyte shape change is induced. PC treated cells remain echinocytic, while PS treated cells return to discocytes, and eventually stomatocytes, due to the action of an inwardly directed transporter. These morphological changes have been well studied by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy in the past few decades. However, most of this research is based on the glutaraldehyde fixed cells, which limits the dynamic study in discrete time points instead of continuous single cell measurements. Scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) is a scanning probe technique which is ideal for live cell imaging due to high resolution, in-situ and non-contact scanning. To better understand this phospholipid-induced morphological changes, SICM was used to scan the morphological change of human erythrocytes after the incorporation of exogenous dilauroylphosphatidylserine (DLPS) and the results revealed single cell dynamic morphological changes and the movement of spicules on membrane surface.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Dec 2017, accepted on 09 Jan 2018 and first published on 11 Jan 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01986F
Citation: Analyst, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Monitoring Dynamic Spiculation in Red Blood Cells with Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy

    C. Zhu, W. Shi, D. Daleke and L. A. Baker, Analyst, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01986F

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