Article

Bidirectional Regulation of Cell Mechanical Motion via a Gold Nanorods-Acoustic Streaming System

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Cell mechanical motion is a key physiological process that relies on the dynamics of actin filaments. Herein, a localized shear-force system based on gigahertz acoustic streaming (AS) is proposed, which can simultaneously realize intracellular delivery and cellular mechanical regulation. The results demonstrate that gold nanorods (AuNRs) can be delivered into the cytoplasm and even the nuclei of cancer and normal cells within a few minutes by AS stimulation. The delivery efficiency of AS stimulation is four times higher than that of endocytosis. Moreover, AS can effectively promote cytoskeleton assembly, regulate cell stiffness and change cell morphology. Since the inhibitory effect of AuNRs on cytoskeleton assembly, this AuNRs-AS system is able to inhibit or promote cell mechanical motion in a controlled manner by regulating the mechanical properties of cells. The bidirectional regulation of cell motion is further verified via scratch experiments, in which AuNRs-treated cells recover their motion ability through AS stimulation. In particular, the results of AuNRs-AS mechanical regulation on cell are related to the intrinsic properties of cell lines, revealing to more obvious effects on the cells with higher motor capacities. In summary, this acoustic technology has shown superiorities in controllable cell-motion manipulation, indicating its potential in building a multifunctional, integrated cytomechanics regulation platform.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Furthermore, the IDTs are set asymmetrically around the chamber to transmit TSAWs and cause acoustic streaming effects, which are the actuation source of the microparticle movement. 38 Specifically, the gradient of the acoustic pressure intensity along the lateral displacement can induce an obvious acoustic vortex streaming around the chamber's centre in the fluid. 39 With the actuation of the acoustic streaming, microparticles in the maze chambers can be automatically moved to solve the maze along circular channels. ...
Article
High-throughput automated manipulation of microparticles in complex-shaped environments has been demonstrated with great potential in the field of pharmaceutical microfluidics. Generally, the development of a highly efficient actuation method for functional microparticle manipulation in complex-shaped chamber structures is the key challenge of this technology. Here, we present a novel traveling surface acoustic wave (TSAW)-based manipulation device that allows for automated and high-throughput maze-solving manipulation of microparticles inside complex round-shaped and square-shaped maze chambers. This technology relies on the localized acoustic streaming effects generated by TSAWs, which are capable of automatically trapping microparticles and driving them to move along the determined trajectories based on the topographic features of the maze chamber. Numerical modelling and simulation were conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed device for targeted microparticle transportation in complex-shaped maze chamber environments. In addition, by configuring the excitation of electric signals of interdigital transducers (IDTs), such as excitation frequency and input voltage, the motion velocity of microparticles can be rapidly adjusted within 0.1 s. Thus, our device enables low-cost, compact, and contactless trajectory manipulation of high-throughput microparticles inside chambers with complex topographical features and would have application in cell-directed transportation, low-volume chemical mixing, and precise drug delivery.
Article
The hydrodynamic method mimics the in vivo environment of the mechanical effect on cell stimulation, which not only modulates cell physiology but also shows excellent intracellular delivery ability. Herein, a hydrodynamic intracellular delivery system based on the gigahertz acoustic streaming (AS) effect is proposed, which presents powerful targeted delivery capabilities with high efficiency and universality. Results indicate that the range of cells with AuNR introduction is related to that of AS, enabling a tunable delivery range due to the adjustability of the AS radius. Moreover, with the assistance of AS, the organelle localization delivery of AuNRs with different modifications is enhanced. AuNRs@RGD is inclined to accumulate in the nucleus, while AuNRs@BSA tend to enter the mitochondria and AuNRs@PEGnK tend to accumulate in the lysosome. Finally, the photothermal effect is proved based on the large quantities of AuNRs introduced via AS. The abundant introduction of AuNRs under the action of AS can achieve rapid cell heating with the irradiation of a 785 nm laser, which has great potential in shortening the treatment cycle of photothermal therapy (PTT). Thereby, an efficient hydrodynamic technology in AuNR introduction based on AS has been demonstrated. The outstanding location delivery and organelle targeting of this method provides a new idea for precise medical treatment.
Article
Full-text available
Migration is one of the five major behaviors of cells. Although RhoC—a classic member of the Rho gene family—was first identified in 1985, functional RhoC data have only been widely reported in recent years. Cell migration involves highly complex signaling mechanisms, in which RhoC plays an essential role. Cell migration regulated by RhoC—of which the most well-known function is its role in cancer metastasis—has been widely reported in breast, gastric, colon, bladder, prostate, lung, pancreatic, liver, and other cancers. Our review describes the role of RhoC in various types of cell migration. The classic two-dimensional cell migration cycle constitutes cell polarization, adhesion regulation, cell contraction and tail retraction, most of which are modulated by RhoC. In the three-dimensional cell migration model, amoeboid migration is the most classic and well-studied model. Here, RhoC modulates the formation of membrane vesicles by regulating myosin II, thereby affecting the rate and persistence of amoeba-like migration. To the best of our knowledge, this review is the first to describe the role of RhoC in all cell migration processes. We believe that understanding the detail of RhoC-regulated migration processes will help us better comprehend the mechanism of cancer metastasis. This will contribute to the study of anti-metastatic treatment approaches, aiding in the identification of new intervention targets for therapeutic or genetic transformational purposes.
Article
Full-text available
The ability to precisely manipulate nano-objects on a large scale can enable the fabrication of materials and devices with tunable optical, electromagnetic, and mechanical properties. However, the dynamic, parallel manipulation of nanoscale colloids and materials remains a significant challenge. Here, we demonstrate acoustoelectronic nanotweezers, which combine the precision and robustness afforded by electronic tweezers with versatility and large-field dynamic control granted by acoustic tweezing techniques, to enable the massively parallel manipulation of sub-100 nm objects with excellent versatility and controllability. Using this approach, we demonstrated the complex patterning of various nanoparticles (e.g., DNAs, exosomes, ~3 nm graphene flakes, ~6 nm quantum dots, ~3.5 nm proteins, and ~1.4 nm dextran), fabricated macroscopic materials with nano-textures, and performed high-resolution, single nanoparticle manipulation. Various nanomanipulation functions, including transportation, concentration, orientation, pattern-overlaying, and sorting, have also been achieved using a simple device configuration. Altogether, acoustoelectronic nanotweezers overcome existing limitations in nano-manipulation and hold great potential for a variety of applications in the fields of electronics, optics, condensed matter physics, metamaterials, and biomedicine.
Article
Full-text available
Innate cell function can be artificially engineered and reprogrammed by introducing biomolecules, such as DNAs, RNAs, plasmid DNAs, proteins, or nanomaterials, into the cytosol or nucleus. This process of delivering exogenous cargos into living cells is referred to as intracellular delivery. For instance, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)‐Cas9 gene editing begins with internalizing Cas9 protein and guide RNA into cells, and chimeric antigen receptor‐T (CAR‐T) cells are prepared by delivering CAR genes into T lymphocytes for cancer immunotherapies. To deliver external biomolecules into cells, tools, including viral vectors, and electroporation have been traditionally used; however, they are suboptimal for achieving high levels of intracellular delivery while preserving cell viability, phenotype, and function. Notably, as emerging solutions, microfluidic and nanofluidic approaches have shown remarkable potential for addressing this open challenge. This review provides an overview of recent advances in microfluidic and nanofluidic intracellular delivery strategies and discusses new opportunities and challenges for clinical applications. Furthermore, key considerations for future efforts to develop microfluidics‐ and nanofluidics‐enabled next‐generation intracellular delivery platforms are outlined. This review provides an overview of recent advances in microfluidic and nanofluidic intracellular delivery strategies, enabling cellular engineering and cell therapy. New opportunities and challenges from micro(nano)fluidic intracellular delivery are highlighted, and key considerations on the establishment of microfluidics‐ and nanofluidics‐enabled next‐generation intracellular delivery platforms are also discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Nanomechanics of cytoskeleton is deeply involved in physiology and regulation of cell behavior. Atomic Force Microscopy has been extensively used for quantitative characterization with high-spatial resolution, in particular showing tremendous opportunities in biomechanics by quantifying mechanical parameters related to cytoskeleton organization. In this short review, we highlight recent developments in cell nanomechanics by AFM focusing on methodology and direct application to investigate cytoskeleton restructuration when cells are interacting with nanostructures (surfaces and nanoparticles). In particular, cells can sense the stiffness of environment or internalized particles and AFM can detect the rearrangement of cytoskeleton as one of the responses of mechanotransduction stimuli. Current bottlenecks hindering further progress in technology, such as theoretical models of interpretation will be discussed, in particular we propose a solution for complex system by coupling AFM with finite element simulations to retrieve more quantitative information when heterogeneity and convolution play important roles. Finally, we present recent cutting-edge research directions to explore new techniques and enhance the capabilities of AFM nanomechanics for living cells.
Article
Full-text available
Hydrodynamic force loading platforms for controllable cell mechanical deformation play an essential role in modern cell technologies. Current systems require assistance from specific microstructures thus limiting the controllability and flexibility in cell shape modulation, and studies on real‐time 3D cell morphology analysis are still absent. This article presents a novel platform based on acoustic streaming generated from a gigahertz device for cell shape control and real‐time cell deformation analysis. Details in cell deformation and the restoration process are thoroughly studied on the platform, and cell behavior control at the microscale is successfully achieved by tuning the treating time, intensity, and wave form of the streaming. The application of this platform in cell membrane permeability modulation and analysis is also exploited. Based on the membrane reorganization during cell deformation, the effects of deformation extent and deformation patterns on membrane permeability to micro‐ and macromolecules are revealed. This technology has shown its unique superiorities in cell mechanical manipulation such as high flexibility, high accuracy, and pure fluid force operation, indicating its promising prospect as a reliable tool for cell property study and drug therapy development.
Article
Full-text available
A simple method based upon masked electrospray is reported for directly generating both unidirectional and bidirectional density gradients of biomacromolecular particles on uniaxially aligned nanofibers. The method has been successfully applied to different types of biomacromolecules, including collagen and a mixture of collagen and fibronectin or laminin, to suit different types of applications. Collagen particles in a unidirectional or bidirectional gradient are able to promote the linear migration of bone marrow stem cells or NIH‐3T3 fibroblasts along the direction of increasing particle density. In the case of particles made of a mixture of collagen and fibronectin, their deposition in a bidirectional gradient promotes the migration of Schwann cells from two opposite sides toward the center, matching the scenario in peripheral nerve repair. As for a mixture of collagen and laminin, the particles in a unidirectional gradient promote the extension of neurites from embryonic chick dorsal root ganglion in the direction of increasing particle density. Taken together, the scaffolds featuring a combination of uniaxially aligned nanofibers and biomacromolecular particles in density gradient can be applied to a range of biological studies and biomedical applications. Working synergistically: By masked electrospray, biomacromolecular particles, with a gradient in coverage density, are deposited on a mat of uniaxially aligned nanofibers. Such a scaffold presents a unique integration of the topographic cue arising from the uniaxially aligned nanofibers and a haptotactic cue enabled by the particles in a density gradient to augment the directional cell migration and neurite extension.
Article
Full-text available
Robust cytotoxic T cell infiltration has proven to be difficult to achieve in solid tumors. We set out to develop a flexible protocol to efficiently transfect tumor and stromal cells to produce immune-activating cytokines, and thus enhance T cell infiltration while debulking tumor mass. By combining ultrasound with tumor-targeted microbubbles, membrane pores are created and facilitate a controllable and local transfection. Here, we applied a substantially lower transmission frequency (250 kHz) than applied previously. The resulting microbubble oscillation was significantly enhanced, reaching an effective expansion ratio of 35 for a peak negative pressure of 500 kPa in vitro. Combining low-frequency ultrasound with tumor-targeted microbubbles and a DNA plasmid construct , 20% of tumor cells remained viable, and ∼20% of these remaining cells were transfected with a reporter gene both in vitro and in vivo. The majority of cells transfected in vivo were mucin 1 + / CD45 − tumor cells. Tumor and stromal cells were then transfected with plasmid DNA encoding IFN-β, producing 150 pg/10 6 cells in vitro, a 150-fold increase compared to no-ultrasound or no-plasmid controls and a 50-fold increase compared to treatment with targeted microbubbles and ultrasound (without IFN-β). This enhancement in secretion exceeds previously reported fourfold to fivefold increases with other in vitro treatments. Combined with intraperitoneal administration of checkpoint inhibition, a single application of IFN-β plasmid transfection reduced tumor growth in vivo and recruited efficacious immune cells at both the local and distant tumor sites. ultrasound | transfection | microbubble
Article
Full-text available
Chemoattractant gradients frequently guide migrating cells. To achieve the most directional signal, such gradients should be maintained with concentrations around the dissociation constant (Kd)1,2,3,4,5,6 of the chemoreceptor. Whether this actually occurs in animals is unknown. Here we investigate whether a moving tissue, the zebrafish posterior lateral line primordium, buffers its attractant in this concentration range to achieve robust migration. We find that the Cxcl12 (also known as Sdf1) attractant gradient ranges from 0 to 12 nM, values similar to the 3.4 nM Kd of its receptor Cxcr4. When we increase the Kd of Cxcl12 for Cxcr4, primordium migration is less directional. Furthermore, a negative-feedback loop between Cxcl12 and its clearance receptor Ackr3 (also known as Cxcr7) regulates the Cxcl12 concentrations. Breaking this negative feedback by blocking the phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic tail of Ackr3 also results in less directional primordium migration. Thus, directed migration of the primordium is dependent on a close match between the Cxcl12 concentration and the Kd of Cxcl12 for Cxcr4, which is maintained by buffering of the chemokine levels. Quantitative modelling confirms the plausibility of this mechanism. We anticipate that buffering of attractant concentration is a general mechanism for ensuring robust cell migration.
Article
Full-text available
Control of the structure and function of three-dimensional multicellular tissues depends critically on the spatial and temporal coordination of cellular physical properties, yet the organizational principles that govern these events and their disruption in disease remain poorly understood. Using a multicellular mammary cancer organoid model, we map here the spatial and temporal evolution of positions, motions and physical characteristics of individual cells in three dimensions. Compared with cells in the organoid core, cells at the organoid periphery and the invasive front are found to be systematically softer, larger and more dynamic. These mechanical changes are shown to arise from supracellular fluid flow through gap junctions, the suppression of which delays the transition to an invasive phenotype. These findings highlight the role of spatiotemporal coordination of cellular physical properties in tissue organization and disease progression.
Article
Full-text available
Sonoporation is a targeted drug delivery technique that employs cavitation microbubbles to generate transient pores in the cell membrane, allowing foreign substances to enter cells by passing through the pores. Due to the broad size distribution of microbubbles, cavitation events appear to be a random process, making it difficult to achieve controllable and efficient sonoporation. In this work a technique is reported using a microfluidic device that enables in parallel modulation of membrane permeability by an oscillating microbubble array. Multirectangular channels of uniform size are created at the sidewall to generate an array of monodispersed microbubbles, which oscillate with almost the same amplitude and resonant frequency, ensuring homogeneous sonoporation with high efficacy. Stable harmonic and high harmonic signals emitted by individual oscillating microbubbles are detected by a laser Doppler vibrometer, which indicates stable cavitation occurred. Under the influence of the acoustic radiation forces induced by the oscillating microbubble, single cells can be trapped at an oscillating microbubble surface. The sonoporation of single cells is directly influenced by the individual oscillating microbubble. The parallel sonoporation of multiple cells is achieved with an efficiency of 96.6 ± 1.74% at an acoustic pressure as low as 41.7 kPa. This work demonstrates a newly developed microfluidic device that enables parallel modulation of membrane permeability using an oscillating microbubble array. This parallel sonoporation device can generate an array of air microbubbles with the same diameter and the oscillation of the microbubble array is controllable.
Article
Full-text available
Controllable exchange of molecules between the interior and the external environment of vesicles is critical in drug delivery and micro/nano‐reactors. While many approaches exist to trigger release from vesicles, controlled loading remains a challenge. Here, we show that gigahertz acoustic streaming generated by a nanoelectromechanical resonator can control the loading and release of cargo into/from vesicles. Polymer‐shelled vesicles showed loading and release of molecules both in solution and on a solid substrate. We observed deformation of individual giant unilamellar vesicles and propose that the shear stress generated by gigahertz acoustic streaming induces the formation of transient nanopores in the vesicle membranes. The size of these pores was estimated to be on the order of 100 nm by loading nanoparticles of different sizes into the vesicles. Forming such pores with gigahertz acoustic streaming provides a non‐invasive method to control materials exchange across membranes of different types of vesicles. This method could allow site‐specific release of therapeutics and controlled loading into cells, as well as tunable microreactors.
Article
Full-text available
Cell response to matrix rigidity has been explained by the mechanical properties of the actin-talin-integrin-fibronectin clutch. Here the molecular clutch model is extended to account for cell interactions with purely viscous surfaces (i.e., without an elastic component). Supported lipid bilayers present an idealized and controllable system through which to study this concept. Using lipids of different diffusion coefficients, the mobility (i.e., surface viscosity) of the presented ligands (in this case RGD) was altered by an order of magnitude. Cell size and cytoskeletal organization were proportional to viscosity. Furthermore, there was a higher number of focal adhesions and a higher phosphorylation of FAK on less-mobile (more-viscous) surfaces. Actin retrograde flow, an indicator of the force exerted on surfaces, was also seen to be faster on more mobile surfaces. This has consequential effects on downstream molecules; the mechanosensitive YAP protein localized to the nucleus more on less-mobile (more-viscous) surfaces and differentiation of myoblast cells was enhanced on higher viscosity. This behavior was explained within the framework of the molecular clutch model, with lower viscosity leading to a low force loading rate, preventing the exposure of mechanosensitive proteins, and with a higher viscosity causing a higher force loading rate exposing these sites, activating downstream pathways. Consequently, the understanding of how viscosity (regardless of matrix stiffness) influences cell response adds a further tool to engineer materials that control cell behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Progress in the field of nanoparticles has enabled the rapid development of multiple products and technologies; however, some nanoparticles can pose both a threat to the environment and human health. To enable their safe implementation, a comprehensive knowledge of nanoparticles and their biological interactions is needed. In vitro and in vivo toxicity tests have been considered the gold standard to evaluate nanoparticle safety, but it is becoming necessary to understand the impact of nanosystems on cell mechanics. Here, the interaction between particles and cells, from the point of view of cell mechanics (i.e., bionanomechanics), is highlighted and put in perspective. Specifically, the ability of intracellular and extracellular nanoparticles to impair cell adhesion, cytoskeletal organization, stiffness, and migration are discussed. Furthermore, the development of cutting-edge, nanotechnology-driven tools based on the use of particles allowing the determination of cell mechanics is emphasized. These include traction force microscopy, colloidal probe atomic force microscopy, optical tweezers, magnetic manipulation, and particle tracking microrheology.
Article
Full-text available
Most cancer patients die from metastasis. Recent studies have shown that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can slow down the migration/invasion speed of cancer cells and suppress metastasis. Since nuclear stiffness of the cell largely decreases cell migration, our hypothesis is that targeting AuNPs to the cell nucleus region could enhance nuclear stiffness, and therefore inhibit cell migration and invasion. Our results showed that upon nuclear targeting of AuNPs, the ovarian cancer cell motilities decrease significantly, compared with non-targeted AuNPs. Furthermore, using atomic force microscopy, we observed an enhanced cell nuclear stiffness. In order to understand the mechanism of cancer cell migration/invasion inhibition, the exact locations of the targeted AuNPs were clearly imaged using a high-resolution three-dimensional imaging microscope, which showed that the AuNPs were trapped at the nuclear membrane. In addition, we observed a greatly increased expression level of lamin A/C protein, which is located in the inner nuclear membrane and functions as a structural component of the nuclear lamina to enhance nuclear stiffness. We propose that the AuNPs that are trapped at the nuclear membrane both: 1) add to the mechanical stiffness of the nucleus and 2) stimulate the overexpression of lamin A/C located around the nuclear membrane, thus increasing nuclear stiffness and slowing cancer cell migration and invasion.
Article
Full-text available
The significant gap between quantitative and qualitative understanding of cytoskeletal function is a pressing problem; microscopy and labeling techniques have improved qualitative investigations of localized cytoskeleton behavior, whereas quantitative analyses of whole cell cytoskeleton networks remain challenging. Here we present a method that accurately quantifies cytoskeleton dynamics. Our approach digitally subdivides cytoskeleton images using interrogation windows, within which box-counting is used to infer a fractal dimension (Df ) to characterize spatial arrangement, and gray value intensity (GVI) to determine actin density. A partitioning algorithm further obtains cytoskeleton characteristics from the perinuclear, cytosolic, and periphery cellular regions. We validated our measurement approach on Cytochalasin-treated cells using transgenically modified dermal fibroblast cells expressing fluorescent actin cytoskeletons. This method differentiates between normal and chemically disrupted actin networks, and quantifies rates of cytoskeletal degradation. Furthermore, GVI distributions were found to be inversely proportional to Df , having several biophysical implications for cytoskeleton formation/degradation. We additionally demonstrated detection sensitivity of differences in Df and GVI for cells seeded on substrates with varying degrees of stiffness, and coated with different attachment proteins. This general approach can be further implemented to gain insights on dynamic growth, disruption, and structure of the cytoskeleton (and other complex biological morphology) due to biological, chemical, or physical stimuli. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
Gold nanorods have received much attention because of their distinct physicochemical properties and promising applications in bioimaging, biosensing, drug delivery, photothermal therapy, and optoelectronic devices. However, little is known regarding their effect on tumor metastasis. In the present investigation, serum protein-coated gold nanorods (AuNRs) at low concentrations is shown to exhibit no apparent effects on the viability and proliferation of three different metastatic cancer cell lines, that is, MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, PC3 human prostate cancer cells, and B16F10 mouse melanoma cells, but effectively inhibit their migration and invasion in vitro. Quantitative proteomics and real-time PCR array analyses indicate that exposure of cells to AuNRs can down-regulate the expression of diverse energy generation-related genes, which accounts for their inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and glycolysis. The impairment of OXPHOS and glycolysis results in a distinctive reduction of ATP production and subsequent inhibition of F-actin cytoskeletal assembly, which is crucial for the migration and invasion of cancer cells. The inhibitory effect of AuNRs on cancer cell migration is also confirmed in vivo. Taken together, the unique mechanism in inhibiting cancer cell migration by AuNRs might provide a new approach to specific cancer therapeutic treatment.
Article
Full-text available
We present microparticle image velocimetry measurements of suspended microparticles of diameters from 0.6 to 10μm undergoing acoustophoresis in an ultrasound symmetry plane in a microchannel. The motion of the smallest particles is dominated by the Stokes drag from the induced acoustic streaming flow, while the motion of the largest particles is dominated by the acoustic radiation force. For all particle sizes we predict theoretically how much of the particle velocity is due to radiation and streaming, respectively. These predictions include corrections for particle-wall interactions and ultrasonic thermoviscous effects and match our measurements within the experimental uncertainty. Finally, we predict theoretically and confirm experimentally that the ratio between the acoustic radiation- and streaming-induced particle velocities is proportional to the actuation frequency, the acoustic contrast factor, and the square of the particle size, while it is inversely proportional to the kinematic viscosity.
Article
Full-text available
Cell migration plays a major role in many fundamental biological processes, such as morphogenesis, tumor metastasis, and wound healing. As they anchor and pull on their surroundings, adhering cells actively probe the stiffness of their environment. Current understanding is that traction forces exerted by cells arise mainly at mechanotransduction sites, called focal adhesions, whose size seems to be correlated to the force exerted by cells on their underlying substrate, at least during their initial stages. In fact, our data show by direct measurements that the buildup of traction forces is faster for larger substrate stiffness, and that the stress measured at adhesion sites depends on substrate rigidity. Our results, backed by a phenomenological model based on active gel theory, suggest that rigidity-sensing is mediated by a large-scale mechanism originating in the cytoskeleton instead of a local one. We show that large-scale mechanosensing leads to an adaptative response of cell migration to stiffness gradients. In response to a step boundary in rigidity, we observe not only that cells migrate preferentially toward stiffer substrates, but also that this response is optimal in a narrow range of rigidities. Taken together, these findings lead to unique insights into the regulation of cell response to external mechanical cues and provide evidence for a cytoskeleton-based rigidity-sensing mechanism.
Article
Full-text available
The in vitro scratch assay is an easy, low-cost and well-developed method to measure cell migration in vitro. The basic steps involve creating a "scratch" in a cell monolayer, capturing the images at the beginning and at regular intervals during cell migration to close the scratch, and comparing the images to quantify the migration rate of the cells. Compared to other methods, the in vitro scratch assay is particularly suitable for studies on the effects of cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions on cell migration, mimic cell migration during wound healing in vivo and are compatible with imaging of live cells during migration to monitor intracellular events if desired. Besides monitoring migration of homogenous cell populations, this method has also been adopted to measure migration of individual cells in the leading edge of the scratch. Not taking into account the time for transfection of cells, in vitro scratch assay per se usually takes from several hours to overnight.
Article
The Lim‐domain protein Zyxin was initially identified as a minor actin cytoskeleton protein that regulates the assembly and repair of actin filaments. At the same time, additional functions revealed for Zyxin in recent decades indicate that this protein can also play an important role in regulating gene expression and cell differentiation. In this review, we analysed literature data pointing to Zyxin as one of the possible molecular hubs linking morphogenetic cell movements with gene expression, stem cell status regulation, and pattern formation during the most complex processes in organism life, embryogenesis.
Article
Drug delivery systems (DDS) are extensively studied to improve the solubility, stability, pharmacokinetic, and biodistribution of chemotherapeutics. However, the drug delivery efficiency of traditional DDS is often limited by the complicated biological barriers in vivo. Herein, a multistage adaptive nanoparticle (MAN) that simultaneously overcomes multiple biological barriers to achieve tumor-targeted drug delivery with high efficiency is presented. MAN has a core-shell structure, in which both the core and the shell are made of responsive polymers. This structure allows MAN to present different surface properties to adapt to its surrounding biological microenvironment, thereby achieving enhanced stability in blood circulation, improved tumor accumulation and cellular internalization in tumor tissues, and effective release of drug in cells. With these unique characteristics, the MAN loaded with docetaxel achieves effective tumor suppression with reduced systemic toxicity. Furthermore, MAN can load almost any hydrophobic drugs, providing a general strategy for the tumor-targeted delivery of hydrophobic drugs to overcome the multiple biological barriers and improve the efficacy of chemotherapy.
Article
Cells have the ability to respond to various types of environmental cues, and in many cases these cues induce directed cell migration towards or away from these signals. How cells sense these cues and how they transmit that information to the cytoskeletal machinery governing cell translocation is one of the oldest and most challenging problems in biology. Chemotaxis, or migration towards diffusible chemical cues, has been studied for more than a century, but information is just now beginning to emerge about how cells respond to other cues, such as substrate-associated cues during haptotaxis (chemical cues on the surface), durotaxis (mechanical substrate compliance) and topotaxis (geometric features of substrate). Here we propose four common principles, or pillars, that underlie all forms of directed migration. First, a signal must be generated, a process that in physiological environments is much more nuanced than early studies suggested. Second, the signal must be sensed, sometimes by cell surface receptors, but also in ways that are not entirely clear, such as in the case of mechanical cues. Third, the signal has to be transmitted from the sensing modules to the machinery that executes the actual movement, a step that often requires amplification. Fourth, the signal has to be converted into the application of asymmetric force relative to the substrate, which involves mostly the cytoskeleton, but perhaps other players as well. Use of these four pillars has allowed us to compare some of the similarities between different types of directed migration, but also to highlight the remarkable diversity in the mechanisms that cells use to respond to different cues provided by their environment.
Article
Surface acoustic waves (SAWs) have the potential to become the basis for a wide gamut of lab-on-a-chips (LoCs). These mechanical waves are among the most promising physics that can be exploited for fulfilling all the requirements of commercially appealing devices that aim to replace-or help-laboratory facilities. These requirements are low processing cost of the devices, scalable production, controllable physics, large flexibility of tasks to perform, easy device miniaturization. To date, SAWs are among the small set of technologies able to both manipulate and analyze biological liquids with high performance. Therefore, they address the main needs of microfluidics and biosensing. To this purpose, the use of high-frequency SAWs is key. In the ultra-high-frequency regime (UHF, 300 MHz - 3 GHz) SAWs exhibit large sensitivities to molecule adsorption and unparalleled fluid manipulation capabilities, together with overall device miniaturization. The UHF-SAW technology is expected to be the realm for the development of complex, reliable, fully automated, high-performance LoCs. In this review, we present the most recent works on UHF-SAWs for microfluidics and biosensing, with particular focus on the LoC application. We derive the relevant scale laws, useful formulas, fabrication guidelines, current limitations of the technology, and future developments.
Article
The development of rapid and efficient tools to modulate neurons is vital for the treatment of nervous system diseases. Here, a novel non-invasive neurite outgrowth modulation method based on a controllable acoustic streaming effect induced by an electromechanical gigahertz resonator microchip is reported. The results demonstrate that the gigahertz acoustic streaming can induce cell structure changes within a 10 min period of stimulation, which promotes a high proportion of neurite bearing cells and encourages longer neurite outgrowth. Specifically, the resonator stimulation not only promotes outgrowth of neurites, but also can be combined with chemical mediated methods to accelerate the direct entry of nerve growth factor (NGF) into cells, resulting in higher modulation efficacy. Owing to shear stress caused by the acoustic streaming effect, the resonator microchip mediates stress fiber formation and induces the neuron-like phenotype of PC12 cells. We suggest that this method may potentially be applied to precise single-cell modulation, as well as in the development of non-invasive and rapid disease treatment strategies.
Article
Cell therapy and cellular engineering begin with internalizing synthetic biomolecules and functional nanomaterials into primary cells. Conventionally, electroporation, lipofection, or viral transduction has been used; however, these are limited by their cytotoxicity, low scalability, cost, and/or preparation complexity, especially in primary cells. Thus, a universal intracellular delivery method that outperforms the existing methods must be established. Here, we present a versatile intracellular delivery platform that leverages intrinsic inertial flow developed in a T-junction microchannel with a cavity. The elongational recirculating flows exerted in the channel substantially stretch the cells, creating discontinuities on cell membranes, thereby enabling highly effective internalization of nanomaterials, such as plasmid DNA (7.9 kbp), mRNA, siRNA, quantum dots, and large nanoparticles (300 nm), into different cell types, including hard-to-transfect primary stem and immune cells. We identified that the internalization mechanism of external cargos during the cell elongation-restoration process is achieved by both passive diffusion and convection-based rapid solution exchange across the cell membrane. Using fluidic cell mechanoporation, we demonstrated a transfection yield superior to that of other state-of-the-art microfluidic platforms as well as current benchtop techniques, including lipofectamine and electroporation. In summary, the intracellular delivery platform developed in the present study enables a high delivery efficiency (up to 98%), easy operation (single-step), low material cost (<$1), high scalability (1 × 106 cells/min), minimal cell perturbation (up to 90%), and cell type/cargo insensitive delivery, providing a practical and robust approach anticipated to critically impact cell-based research.
Article
Significance Commercial strategies to deliver biomolecular cargo ex vivo (e.g., electroporation, lipofection) to clinically relevant cell lines are limited by toxicity, cost, and throughput. These technical limitations have inhibited development of these technologies into streamlined clinical platforms for manufacturing gene-modified stem cells and cancer immunotherapies. Here, we demonstrate an acoustofluidic platform capable of delivering plasmids with high throughput to human T lymphocytes, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and CD34 ⁺ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Acoustofluidic-treated cells showed evidence of cytosolic DNA delivery, endocytic DNA aggregation, and nuclear membrane rupture. Collectively, these observations demonstrate the utility of this method as a research tool for gene editing applications and mechanistic studies of plasma membrane and nuclear membrane repair.
Article
Intracellular delivery is essential to therapeutic applications such as genome engineering and disease diagnosis. Current methods lack simple, non-invasive strategies, and are often hindered by long incubation time or high toxicity. Hydrodynamic approaches offer rapid and controllable delivery of small molecules, but thus far have not been demonstrated for delivering functional proteins. In this work, we developed a robust hydrodynamic approach based on gigahertz (GHz) acoustics to achieve rapid and non-invasive cytosolic delivery of biologically active proteins. With this method, GHz-based acoustic devices trigger oscillations through a liquid medium (acoustic streaming) generating shear stress on the cell membrane and inducing transient nanoporation. This mechanical effect enhances membrane permeability and enables cytosolic access to cationic proteins without disturbing their bioactivity. We evaluated the versatility of this approach through delivery of cationic fluorescent proteins to a range of cell lines, all of which displayed equally efficient delivery speed (≤ 20 minutes). Delivery of multiple enzymatically active proteins with functionality related to apoptosis or genetic recombination further demonstrated the relevance of this method.
Article
Cell migration is essential for physiological processes as diverse as development, immune defence and wound healing. It is also a hallmark of cancer malignancy. Thousands of publications have elucidated detailed molecular and biophysical mechanisms of cultured cells migrating on flat, 2D substrates of glass and plastic. However, much less is known about how cells successfully navigate the complex 3D environments of living tissues. In these more complex, native environments, cells use multiple modes of migration, including mesenchymal, amoeboid, lobopodial and collective, and these are governed by the local extracellular microenvironment, specific modalities of Rho GTPase signalling and non-muscle myosin contractility. Migration through 3D environments is challenging because it requires the cell to squeeze through complex or dense extracellular structures. Doing so requires specific cellular adaptations to mechanical features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) or its remodelling. In addition, besides navigating through diverse ECM environments and overcoming extracellular barriers, cells often interact with neighbouring cells and tissues through physical and signalling interactions. Accordingly, cells need to call on an impressively wide diversity of mechanisms to meet these challenges. This Review examines how cells use both classical and novel mechanisms of locomotion as they traverse challenging 3D matrices and cellular environments. It focuses on principles rather than details of migratory mechanisms and draws comparisons between 1D, 2D and 3D migration.
Article
Cell migration plays a vital role in carcinoma invasion and metastasis. Cell regulatory volume decrease (RVD), a mechanism of adjusting cell volume, is a basic physiological function of cells, which is closely related to cell migration. In this work, A quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) cytosensor was firstly developed for real-time monitoring of cell RVD to evaluate the migration of human breast cancer cells. While stimulating the immobilized cells on the chip with hypotonic solutions, the temporal dynamics of RVD can be tracked by QCM sensor via analyzing frequency shifts during the cell swelling and shrinkage. The results showed that, due to the difference in cell migration capability, the level of RVD for MCF-7 cells and MDA-MB-231 cells was 32.8±2.9% and 49.7±4.2% (n=3), respectively. Furthermore, tamoxifen, a chloride channels blocker, was used to suppress cell RVD, indicating concentration dependence and inhibition difference in both types of cells. Combining QCM measurement with cell migration assay, the results showed that the blockage of RVD was positively correlated to the inhibition of cell migration with tamoxifen concentration ranging from 5 μM to 60 μM, which revealed the relation between cell RVD and cell migration. The study provided a non-invasive and real-time strategy for monitoring cell RVD as well as assessing cell migration, which was expected to supply a new diagnostic tool for metastatic cancers.
Article
The intracellular delivery efficiency of drug-loaded nanocarriers is often limited by biological barriers arising from the plasma membrane and the cell interior. In this work, the entering of doxorubicin (Dox)-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) into cytoplasm was acoustically enhanced through direct penetration with the assistance of hypersound of gigahertz (GHz) frequency. Both fluorescence and cell viability measurements revealed that the therapeutic efficacy of Dox-loaded MSNs were significantly improved by tuning the power and duration of hypersound on demand with a nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) resonator. Mechanism studies with inhibitors illustrated that the membrane defects induced by the hypersound-triggered GHz acoustic streaming facilitated the Dox-loaded MSNs of 100-200 nm to directly penetrate through the cell membrane instead of via the traditional endocytosis, which highly increased the delivery efficiency by avoiding the formation of endosomes. This acoustic method enables the drug carriers to overcome biological barriers of the cell membrane and the endosomes without the limitation of carrier materials, which provides a versatile way of enhanced drug delivery for biomedical applications.
Article
Hierarchical assemblies of nanomaterial superstructures with controlled orientation affords a multitude of novel properties of plasmonics and broad applications. Yet constructing multi-functional superstructures with nanoparticles positioned in desired locations remains challenging. Herein, gold nanorods (GNRs) assembled in stripe patterns with controlled orientation and structures in millimeter scale for versatile application have been achieved. Applications of patterned GNRs in sensing enhancement and engineering mammalian cells alignment are investigated experimentally. The performance of patterned GNRs in surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and electrical sensing are found in orientational dependence. The SERS signals of vertically arranged GNR arrays exhibit double the folder intensity than those horizontally arranged. In contrast, the horizontally arranged GNRs exhibit twice as much electrical conductivity. The system is further explored to pattern mammalian cells. For the first time, we reveal the nanostructured topography of GNR confined cells to a specific region, and direct the adhesion and extension of living cells, which opens up broad applications in tissue engineering and biosensing.
Article
Most cancer-related deaths come from metastasis. It was recently discovered that nanoparticles could inhibit cancer cell migration. While most researchers focus on single-cell migration, the effect of nanoparticle treatment on collective cell migration has not been explored. Collective migration occurs commonly in many types of cancer metastasis, where a group of cancer cells move together, which requires the contractility of the cytoskeleton filaments and the connection of neighboring cells by the cell junction proteins. Here, we demonstrate gold nanorods (AuNRs) and the introduction of near-infrared light could inhibit the cancer cell collective migration by altering the actin filaments and cell junctions with significantly triggered phosphorylation changes of essential proteins, using mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics. Further observation using super-resolution stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) showed the actin cytoskeleton filament bundles were disturbed, which is difficult to differentiate under a normal fluorescence microscope. The decreased expression level of N-Cadherin junctions and morphological changes of tight junction protein zonula occludens 2 (ZO-2) were also observed. All these results indicate possible functions of the AuNRs treatments in regulating and remodeling the actin filaments and cell junction proteins, which contribute to decreasing cancer cell collective migration.
Article
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation can be manipulated by nanotopographic interface providing unique strategy to engineering stem cell therapy and circumvent complex cellular reprogramming. However, our understanding of the nanotopographic-mechanosensitive properties of MSCs and the underlying biophysical linkage of the nanotopography-engineered stem cell to directed commitment, remains elusive. Here, we show that osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs (hMSCs) can be largely promoted using our nanoengineered topographic glass substrates in the absence of dexamethasone, a key exogenous factor for osteogenesis induction. We demonstrate that hMSCs sense and respond to surface nanotopography, through modulation of adhesion, cytoskeleton tension and nuclear activation of TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif), a transcriptional modulator of hMSCs. Our findings demonstrate the potential of nanotopographic surfaces as non-invasive tools to advance cell-based therapies for bone engineering and highlight the origin of biophysical response of hMSC to nanotopography.
Article
Significance Metastasis is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths. Current clinical treatments for antimetastasis, however, are not effective. This work aims to develop a strategy to inhibit cancer cell migration using gold nanorods (AuNRs) with systematic understanding of the mechanism. The ability of targeting AuNRs to cancer cell surface integrins and the introduction of NIR light to generate a mild plasmonic photothermal effect caused broad regulation on cytoskeletal proteins, thus impairing cancer cell migration. This strategy provides a potential application for controlling cancer metastasis.
Article
Sensitive and specific fluorescence imaging-guided photothermal therapy (PTT) with high-efficiency is of essential importance and is still a challenge for nanotheranostics. To address these issues, we developed activatable ultrasmall gold nanorods (AUGNRs) to realize “off-on” switched fluorescence imaging-guided efficient PTT. Herein, the GNRs with an ultrasmall small size (∼4 nm) were set as the PTT platform due to their distinct absorption-dominant characteristics, generating an enhanced photothermal conversion efficiency. A near infrared (NIR) dye, Cy5, was conjugated to the surface of the ultrasmall GNRs for fluorescence imaging. Due to the strong localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), the fluorescence of Cy5 could be remarkably quenched by the GNRs and show an “off” state under normal conditions. As the AUGNRs are internalized by tumor cells, their ability of fluorescence imaging would be activated by glutathione (GSH) for the reducing action of GSH. Given the higher intracellular GSH concentration in tumor cells, a highly selective intracellular fluorescence imaging pattern was provided by the AUGNRs. As a result, the obtained AUGNRs revealed a uniformly rod-like structure with an aspect ratio of ∼4 and showed an enhanced photothermal conversion efficiency. The in vitro cellular uptake study indicated that the AUGNRs can efficiently enter the tumor cells. It has been demonstrated by in vitro Cy5 release profiles that the AUGNRs could achieve a triggered Cy5 release in response to GSH. The MTT assay and calcein AM/PI co-staining demonstrated that the cancer cells could be effectively killed when exposed to a NIR laser. Our work presents great potential for activated fluorescence imaging-guided PTT with high specificity and efficiency, as a promising method for future clinical cancer diagnostics and treatment.
Article
Efficient delivery of genes and therapeutic agents to the interior of the cell is critical for modern biotechnology. Herein, a new type of chemical-free cell poration method— hypersonic poration—is developed to improve the cellular uptake, especially the nucleus uptake. The hypersound (≈GHz) is generated by a designed piezoelectric nano-electromechanical resonator, which directly induces normal/shear stress and “molecular bombardment” effects on the bilayer membranes, and creates reversible temporal nanopores improving the membrane permeability. Both theory analysis and cellular uptake experiments of exogenous compounds prove the high delivery efficiency of hypersonic poration. Since target molecules in cells are accumulated with the treatment, the delivered amount can be controlled by tuning the treatment time. Furthermore, owing to the intrinsic miniature of the resonator, localized drug delivery at a confined spatial location and tunable arrays of the resonators that are compatible with multiwell plate can be achieved. The hypersonic poration method shows great delivery efficacy combined with advantage of scalability, tunable throughput, and simplification in operation and provides a potentially powerful strategy in the field of molecule delivery, cell transfection, and gene therapy.
Article
Mechanical stress is pervasive in egress routes of malignancy, yet the intrinsic effects of force on tumour cells remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that frictional force characteristic of flow in the lymphatics stimulates YAP1 to drive cancer cell migration; whereas intensities of fluid wall shear stress (WSS) typical of venous or arterial flow inhibit taxis. YAP1, but not TAZ, is strictly required for WSS-enhanced cell movement, as blockade of YAP1, TEAD1-4 or the YAP1–TEAD interaction reduces cellular velocity to levels observed without flow. Silencing of TEAD phenocopies loss of YAP1, implicating transcriptional transactivation function in mediating force-enhanced cell migration. WSS dictates expression of a network of YAP1 effectors with executive roles in invasion, chemotaxis and adhesion downstream of the ROCK–LIMK–cofilin signalling axis. Altogether, these data implicate YAP1 as a fluid mechanosensor that functions to regulate genes that promote metastasis.
Article
Multifunctional drug delivery and combined multimodal therapy strategies are very promising in tumor theranostic applications. In this work, a simple and versatile nanoplatform based on biologically inspired polydopamine capped gold nanorods (GNR-PDA) is developed. Dopamine, a well-known neurotransmitter associated with many neuronal disorders, can undergo self-polymerization on the surface of GNRs to form a stable PDA shell. Its unique molecular adsorption property, as well as its high chemical stability and biocompatibility, facilitate GNR-PDA as an ideal candidate for drug delivery. Methylene blue (MB) and doxorubicin (DOX) are directly adsorbed on GNR-PDA via electrostatic and/or π-π stacking interactions, forming GNR-PDA-MB and GNR-PDA-DOX nanocomposites, respectively. The GNR-PDA-MB can generate reactive oxygen species (ROS, from MB) or hyperthermia (from GNR-PDA) with high efficiency under deep-red/NIR laser irradiation, while the GNR-PDA-DOX exhibits light-enhanced drug release under NIR laser irradiation. The combined dual-modal light-mediated therapy, by using GNR-PDA-MB [photodynamic/photothermal therapy (PDT/PTT)] and GNR-PDA-DOX (Chemo/PTT) is carried out and shows remarkable cancer cell killing efficiency in vitro and significant suppression of tumor growth in vivo, which are much more distinct than any single-modal therapy strategy. Our work illustrates that GNR-PDA could be a promising nanoplatform for multifunctional drug delivery and multimodal tumor theranostics in the future.
Article
Background: Cell stiffness is a crucial mechanical property that is closely related to cell motility. AFM is the most prevalent method used to determine cell stiffness by the quantitative parameter designated as Young's modulus. Young's modulus is regarded as a biomarker of cell motility, especially in estimating the metastasis of cancer cells, because in recent years, it has been repeatedly shown that cancerous cells are softer than their benign counterparts. However, some conflicting evidence has shown that cells with higher motility are sometimes stiffer than their counterparts. Thus, the correlation between cell stiffness and motility remains a matter of debate. Scope of review: In this review, we first summarize the reports on correlations between cell motility and stiffness determined by AFM and then discuss the major determinants of AFM-determined cell stiffness with a focus on the cytoskeleton, nuclear stiffness and methodological issues. Last, we propose a possible correlation between cell stiffness and motility and the possible explanations for the conflicting evidence. Major conclusions: The AFM-determined Young's modulus is greatly affected by the characteristics of the cytoskeleton, as well as the procedures and parameters used in detection. Young's modulus is a reliable biomarker for the characterization of metastasis; however, reliability is questioned in the evaluation of pharmacologically or genetically modified motility. General significance: This review provides an overview of the current understanding of the correlation between AFM-determined cell stiffness and motility, the determinants of this detecting method, as well as clues to optimize detecting parameters.
Article
ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) are reported to show a high degree of cancer cell selectivity with potential use in cancer imaging and therapy. Questions remain about the mode by which the ZnO NPs cause cell death, whether they exert an intra- or extracellular effect, and the resistance among different cancer cell types to ZnO NP exposure. The present study quantifies the variability between the cellular toxicity, dynamics of cellular uptake, and dissolution of bare and RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp)-targeted ZnO NPs by MDA-MB-231 cells. Compared to bare ZnO NPs, RGD-targeting of the ZnO NPs to integrin αvβ3 receptors expressed on MDA-MB-231 cells appears to increase the toxicity of the ZnO NPs to breast cancer cells at lower doses. Confocal microscopy of live MDA-MB-231 cells confirms uptake of both classes of ZnO NPs with a commensurate rise in intracellular Zn2+ concentration prior to cell death. The response of the cells within the population to intracellular Zn2+ is highly heterogeneous. In addition, the results emphasize the utility of dynamic and quantitative imaging in understanding cell uptake and processing of targeted therapeutic ZnO NPs at the cellular level by heterogeneous cancer cell populations, which can be crucial for the development of optimized treatment strategies.
Article
We study the correlation between cytoskeleton organization and stiffness of three epithelial breast cancer cells lines with different degree of malignancy: MCF-10A (healthy), MCF-7 (tumorigenic/non-invasive) and MDA-MB-231 (tumorigenic/invasive). Peak-force modulation atomic force microscopy is used for high-resolution topography and stiffness imaging of actin filaments within living cells. In healthy cells, local stiffness is maximum where filamentous actin is organized as well-aligned stress fibers, resulting in apparent Young's modulus values up to one order of magnitude larger than in regions where these structures are not observed. But these organized actin fibers are barely observed in tumorigenic cells. We further investigate cytoskeleton conformation in the three cell lines by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. The combination of both techniques determines that actin stress fibers are present at apical regions of healthy cells, while in tumorigenic cells they appear only at basal regions, where they cannot contribute to stiffness as probed by atomic force microscopy. These results substantiate that actin stress fibers provide a dominant contribution to stiffness in healthy cells, while the elasticity of tumorigenic cells appears not predominantly determined by these structures. We also discuss the effects of the high-frequency indentations inherent to peak-force atomic force microscopy for the identification of mechanical cancer biomarkers. Whereas conventional low loading rate indentations (1 Hz) result in slightly differentiated average stiffness for each cell line, in high-frequency measurements (250 Hz) healthy cells are clearly discernible from both tumorigenic cells with an enhanced stiffness ratio; however, the two cancerous cell lines result undistinguishable.
Article
Gold nanomaterials are intensively studied for applications in disease detection, diagnosis and therapeutics, and this has motivated considerable research to determine their interaction with biomolecules, cells and cell behaviors. However, few studies look at how nanomaterials alter the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell-ECM interactions. Nanomaterials in the body would interact with the entire cellular environment, and it is imperative to account for this when studying the impact of nanomaterials on living systems. Furthermore, recent evidence finds that migration rates of cells in 2D can be affected by nanomaterials and uptake of the nanomaterials is not necessary to exert an effect. In this study, three-dimensional nested type I collagen matrices were utilized as a model ECM to study how gold nanorods affect the migration of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Spontaneous cell migration through collagen containing gold nanorods was found to increase with increasing concentrations of gold nanorods, independent of intracellular uptake of the nanorods. Gold nanorods in the collagen matrix were found to alter collagen mechanical properties and structure, molecular diffusion, cellular adhesion, cell morphology, mode of migration and protease expression. Correlation between decreased cellular adhesion and rounded cell morphology and locomotion in nanorod-containing collagen suggests the induction of an amoeboid-like migratory phenotype.
Article
Viscoelastic and other physical properties of cancerous cells are particularly important since cells interact with the extracellular matrix and other cells constantly during malignant proliferation, adhesion, invasion and metastasis process. Atomic force microscope (AFM) has an unparalleled advantage in the measurement of viscoelastic properties of living cells. In this paper, a stress relaxation test using atomic force microscopy was conducted to obtain viscoelastic characteristics of lung cancer cells. The experimental data obtained were well fitted with a special theoretical model which is appropriate to samples with infinite thickness, such as cells. This theoretical model takes into account the thin thickness of the measured sample and the substrate effect generated by a relatively larger indention of AFM probe can be avoided. Two different non-small cell lung cancer cell lines with varying metastatic potential show distinct stress relaxation characteristics. The metastatic NCI-H1299 cells, which are originally isolated from a patient's lymph node metastases, appeared a lower viscoelastic response compared to the non-metastatic A549 tumorous cells. When cancerous cells release from the primary tumor site, intravasate into lymphatic or blood circulation, and squeeze through a variety of cell gaps to transfer other where, they become easily deformed and thus show lower viscoelastic properties. The emerging insight into these viscoelastic properties may promote the understanding of the underlying mechanism for cancer metastatic and invasive progress.
Article
Nanoparticle vehicles may improve the delivery of contrast agents and therapeutics to diseased tissues, but their rational design is currently impeded by a lack of robust technologies to characterize their in vivo behavior in real-time. This study demonstrates that fluorescent-labeled gold nanoparticles can be optimized for in vivo detection, perform pharmacokinetic analysis of nanoparticle designs, analyze tumor extravasation, and clearance kinetics in tumor-bearing animals. This optical imaging approach is non-invasive and high-throughput. Interestingly, these fluorescent gold nanoparticles can be used for multispectral imaging to compare several nanoparticle designs simultaneously within the same animal and eliminates the host-dependent variabilities across measured data. Together these results describe a novel platform for evaluating the performance of tumor-targeting nanoparticles, and provide new insights for the design of future nanotherapeutics.
Article
The hydrodynamic radius, rh, of low molar mass polyethylene glycol, MPEG = (200 to 1000) g·mol−1, in a homologous series of primary alcohols, acetone, and toluene has been determined from viscosity measurements. The viscosity data have been collected using a fast one-point method as well as a more generally used multipoint method. The results for both approaches are in good agreement. For a given average molar mass of PEG, rh is the largest in acetone, methanol, and toluene and shows a decrease with the chain length of the alcohol. For the solvents studied, rh shows an increase with MPEG that can be described adequately by the two-parameter Mark–Houwink equation for MPEG = (400 to 1000) g·mol−1. In the range T = (298.2 to 323.2) K, the influence of the temperature is not significant.
Article
Cell volume perturbation initiates a wide array of intracellular signalling cascades, leading to protective and adaptive events and, in most cases, activation of volume-regulatory osmolyte transport, water loss, and hence restoration of cell volume and cellular function. Cell volume is challenged not only under physiological conditions, e.g. following accumulation of nutrients, during epithelial absorption/secretion processes, following hormonal/autocrine stimulation, and during induction of apoptosis, but also under pathophysiological conditions, e.g. hypoxia, ischaemia and hyponatremia/hypernatremia. On the other hand, it has recently become clear that an increase or reduction in cell volume can also serve as a specific signal in the regulation of physiological processes such as transepithelial transport, cell migration, proliferation and death. Although the mechanisms by which cell volume perturbations are sensed are still far from clear, significant progress has been made with respect to the nature of the sensors, transducers and effectors that convert a change in cell volume into a physiological response. In the present review, we summarize recent major developments in the field, and emphasize the relationship between cell volume regulation and organism physiology/pathophysiology.