[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanical features of individual animal cells have been regarded as indicators of cell type and state. Previously, we investigated the surface mechanics of cancer and normal stromal cells in adherent and suspended states using atomic force microscopy. Cancer cells possessed specific mechanical and actin cytoskeleton features that were distinct from normal stromal cells in adherent and suspended states. In this paper, we report the unique mechanical and actin cytoskeletal features of human embryonic kidney HEK293 cells. Unlike normal stromal and cancer cells, the surface stiffness of adherent HEK293 cells was very low, but increased after cell detachment from the culture surface. Induced actin filament depolymerization revealed that the actin cytoskeleton was the underlying source of the stiffness in suspended HEK293 cells. The exclusive mechanical response of HEK293 cells to perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton resembled that of adherent cancer cells and suspended normal stromal cells. Thus, with respect to their special cell-surface mechanical features, HEK293 cells could be categorized into a new class distinct from normal stromal and cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanical features of individual cells have been regarded as unique indicators of their states, which could constantly change in accordance with cellular events and diseases. Particularly, cancer progression was characterized by the disruption and/or reorganization of actin filaments causing mechanical changes. Thus, mechanical characterization of cells could become an effective cytotechnological approach for early detection of cancer. To develop mechanical cytotechnology, it would be necessary to clarify the mechanical properties in various cell adhesion states. In this study, we investigated the surface mechanical behavior of cancer and normal cells in the adherent and suspended states using atomic force microscopy. Adherent normal stromal cells showed high surface stiffness due to developed actin cap structures on their apical surface, whereas cancer cells did not have developed filamentous actin structures, and their surface stiffness was low. Upon cell detachment from the substrate, filamentous actin structures of adherent normal stromal cells reorganized to the cortical region and their surface stiffness decreased consequently however, the stiffness of suspended normal cells remained higher than that of cancer cells. These suspended state actin structures were similar, regardless of the cell type. Furthermore, the mechanical responses of the cancer and normal stromal cells to perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton were different, suggesting distinct regulatory mechanisms for actin cytoskeleton in cancer and normal cells in both adherent and suspended states. Therefore, cancer cells possess specific mechanical and actin cytoskeleton features different from normal stromal cells.
Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 04/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.jbiosc.2013.03.003 · 1.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanical properties of cells are unique indicators of their states and functions. Though, it is difficult to recognize the degrees of mechanical properties, due to small size of the cell and broad distribution of the mechanical properties. Here, we developed a simple virtual reality system for presenting the mechanical properties of cells and their dispersion using a haptic device and a PC. This system simulates atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation experiments for floating cells in virtual environments. An operator can virtually position the AFM spherical probe over a round cell with the haptic handle on the PC monitor and feel the force interaction. The Young's modulus of mesenchymal stem cells and HEK293 cells in the floating state was measured by AFM. The distribution of the Young's modulus of these cells was broad, and the distribution complied with a log-normal pattern. To represent the mechanical properties together with the cell variance, we used log-normal distribution-dependent random number determined by the mode and variance values of the Young's modulus of these cells. The represented Young's modulus was determined for each touching event of the probe surface and the cell object, and the haptic device-generating force was calculated using a Hertz model corresponding to the indentation depth and the fixed Young's modulus value. Using this system, we can feel the mechanical properties and their dispersion in each cell type in real time. This system will help us not only recognize the degrees of mechanical properties of diverse cells but also share them with others.
PLoS ONE 03/2012; 7(3):e34305. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0034305 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper describes the results of the analysis of cortical rigidity in two round cell states: mitotic round cells and detached round cells after trypsinization using atomic force microscopy (AFM). These two states are primary cell events with dynamic morphological alterations in vitro. The trypsinized detached cells were fixed on the substrate of membrane anchoring oleyl surface. Fluorescent images taken by confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed diverse cell surface protrusions and cortical actin development in the round cells under different conditions. Although the cortical actin of these cells seemed to develop similarly, cortical rigidity of the trypsinized round cells showed greater stiffness than that of mitotic round cells. The elasticity measurements by AFM may detect invisible information about the maturation or strength of F-actin structures and such measurements may indicate that the strength of the actomyosin cortex would be higher in trypsinized round cells compared to mitotic cells. The mechanical properties can help provide better insights into the characteristics of the actin cytoskeleton network in vicinity of cell surface during dynamic morphological alterations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been extensively investigated for their applications in regenerative medicine. Successful use of MSCs in cell-based therapies will rely on the ability to effectively identify their properties and functions with a relatively non-destructive methodology. In this study, we measured the surface stiffness and thickness of rat MSCs with atomic force microscopy and clarified their relation at a single-cell level. The role of the perinuclear actin cap in regulating the thickness, stiffness, and proliferative activity of these cells was also determined by using several actin cytoskeleton-modifying reagents. This study has helped elucidate a possible link between the physical properties and the physiological function of the MSCs, and the corresponding regulatory role of the actin cytoskeleton.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2011; 409(1):1-6. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.04.022 · 2.28 Impact Factor