Cytoskeletal role in differential adhesion patterns of normal fibroblasts and breast cancer cells inside silicon microenvironments

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
Biomedical Microdevices (Impact Factor: 2.88). 12/2008; 11(3):585-95. DOI: 10.1007/s10544-008-9268-2
Source: PubMed


In this paper we studied differential adhesion of normal human fibroblast cells and human breast cancer cells to three dimensional (3-D) isotropic silicon microstructures and investigated whether cell cytoskeleton in healthy and diseased state results in differential adhesion. The 3-D silicon microstructures were formed by a single-mask single-isotropic-etch process. The interaction of these two cell lines with the presented microstructures was studied under static cell culture conditions. The results show that there is not a significant elongation of both cell types attached inside etched microstructures compared to flat surfaces. With respect to adhesion, the cancer cells adopt the curved shape of 3-D microenvironments while fibroblasts stretch to avoid the curved sidewalls. Treatment of fibroblast cells with cytochalasin D changed their adhesion, spreading and morphology and caused them act similar to cancer cells inside the 3-D microstructures. Statistical analysis confirmed that there is a significant alteration (P < 0.001) in fibroblast cell morphology and adhesion property after adding cytochalasin D. Adding cytochalasin D to cancer cells made these cells more rounded while there was not a significant alteration in their adhesion properties. The distinct geometry-dependent cell-surface interactions of fibroblasts and breast cancer cells are attributed to their different cytoskeletal structure; fibroblasts have an organized cytoskeletal structure and less deformable while cancer cells deform easily due to their impaired cytoskeleton. These 3-D silicon microstructures can be used as a tool to investigate cellular activities in a 3-D architecture and compare cytoskeletal properties of various cell lines.

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Available from: Masoud Agah
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