Association Examined of Viscoelastic Properties with the Invasion of Ovarian Cancer Cells by Atomic Force Microscopy

  1. Mengdan Chen,
  2. Jinshu Zeng,
  3. Weiwei Ruan,
  4. Zhenghong Zhang,
  5. Yuhua Wang,
  6. Shusen Xie,
  7. Zhengchao Wang and
  8. Hongqin YangORCID Logo

Submitting author affiliation: Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Science and Technology for Medicine of Ministry of Education, Provincial Key Laboratory for Photonics Technology, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China

Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019132.

Published 28 Oct 2019

  • Preprint


Cellular mechanical properties could serve as a prominent indicator for disease progression and early cancer diagnosis. This study utilized atomic force microscopy (AFM) to measure the viscoelastic properties and then examined their association with the invasion of ovarian cancer at living single cell level. The results demonstrated the elasticity and viscosity of ovarian cancer cell OVCAR-3 and HO-8910 significantly decreased than those of HOSEpiC, the ovarian cancer control cell. Further examination found the dramatic increase of migration/invasion and the obvious decease of microfilament density in OVCAR-3 and HO-8910 cells compared with those of HOSEpiC cells. And there was a significant relationship between viscoelastic and biological properties among these cells. In addition, the elasticity was significantly increased in OVCAR-3 and HO-8910 cells after the treatment of anticancer compound echinomycin (Ech), while no obvious change was found in HOSEpiC cells after Ech treatment. Interestingly, Ech seemed no effects on the viscosity of these cells. Furthermore, Ech significantly inhibited the migration/invasion and significantly increased the microfilament density in OVCAR-3 and HO-8910 cells compared with those of HOSEpiC cells, which was significantly related with the elasticity among these cells. Notably, an increase of elasticity and a decrease of invasion were found in OVCAR-3 and HO-8910 cells with Ech treatment. Together, this study clearly demonstrated the association of viscoelastic properties with the invasion of ovarian cancer cells and shed a light on the biomechanical changes for early diagnosis of tumor transformation and progression at single cell level.

Keywords: atomic force microscopy; invasion; migration; ovarian cancer cells; viscoelasticity;

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Chen, M.; Zeng, J.; Ruan, W.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, Y.; Xie, S.; Wang, Z.; Yang, H. Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019132. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2019.132.v1

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