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research-article

Investigating the mechanical properties of biological brain cells with atomic force microscopy

[+] Author and Article Information
Tariq Mohana Bahwini

School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
tamb20@gmail.com

Yongmin Zhong

School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
yongmin.zhong@rmit.edu.au

Chengfan Gu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
chengfan.gu@gmail.com

Zeyad Nasa

Micro Nano Research Facility, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT
zeyad.nasa@rmit.edu.au

Denny Oetomo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
doetomo@unimelb.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040995 History: Received February 28, 2018; Revised July 20, 2018

Abstract

Characterization of cell mechanical properties plays an important role in disease diagnoses and treatments. This paper uses advanced atomic force microscopy to measure the geometrical and mechanical properties of two different human brain normal HNC-2 and cancer U87 MG cells. Based on experimental measurement, it calculates the cell deformation and indentation force to characterize cell mechanical properties. A fitting algorithm is developed to generate the force-loading curves from experimental data. An inverse Hertzian method is also established to identify Young's moduli for HNC-2 and U87 MG cells. The results demonstrate that Young's modulus of cancer cells is different from that of normal cells, which can help us to differentiate normal and cancer cells from the biomechanical viewpoint.

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