Evaluation of single-cell biomechanics as potential marker for oral squamous cell carcinomas: A pilot study
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Objectives Early detection of oral cancer is a major health issue. The objective of this pilot study was to analyze the deformability of healthy and cancer cells using a microfluidic optical stretcher (OS). Material and Methods Different cancer cell lines, primary oral cancer cells, and their healthy counterparts were cultivated and characterized, respectively. A measurable deformation of the cells along the optical axis was detected, caused by surface stress, which is optically induced by the laser power. Results All cells revealed a viscoelastic extension behavior and showed a characteristic deformation response under laser light exposure. The CAL-27/-33 cells exhibited the highest relative deformation. All other cells achieved similar values, but on a lower level. The cytoskeleton reacts sensitively of changing environmental conditions, which may be influenced by growth behavior of the cancer specimens. Nevertheless, the statistical analysis showed significant differences between healthy and cancer cells. Conclusion Generally, malignant and benign cells showed significantly different mechanical behavior. Cancer-related changes influence the composition of the cytoskeleton and thus affect the deformability, but this effect may be superimposed by cell cultivation conditions or cell doubling time. These influences had to be substituted by brush biopsies to minimize confounders in pursuing investigations.
Dentistry not elsewhere classified