The Roles of Cellular Nanomechanics in Cancer


The biomechanical properties of cells and tissues may be instrumental in increasing our understanding of cellular behavior and cellular manifestations of diseases such as cancer. Nanomechanical properties can offer clinical translation of therapies beyond what are currently employed. Nanomechanical properties, often measured by nanoindentation methods using atomic force microscopy, may identify morphological variations, cellular binding forces, and surface adhesion behaviors that efficiently differentiate normal cells and cancer cells. The aim of this review is to examine current research involving the general use of atomic force microscopy/nanoindentation in measuring cellular nanomechanics; various factors and instrumental conditions that influence the nanomechanical properties of cells; and implementation of nanoindentation methods to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells or tissues. Applying these fundamental nanomechanical properties to current discoveries in clinical treatment may result in greater efficiency in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer, which ultimately can change the lives of patients.

Publication Title

Medicinal Research Reviews