Propriétés mécaniques locales de cellules cancéreuses de la vessie mesurées par AFM

Abstract : Cancer cell metastasis is a multi-stage process characterized by cell malfunctional behavior. Some of the major pathological characteristics of cancer cells are their particular mechanical properties which are linked to their ability to invade surrounding tissues, transmigrate and proliferate at new sites. There are evidences that cancer progression is characterized by disruption and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton as well as changes in the mechanical properties. This change is probably associated with the enhanced capability of cancer cells to migrate and adapt to changing environments.The mechanical properties are essential for the regulation of cell functions like migration, adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, and abnormalities are connected with pathologies, in particular cancer metastasis. The mechanical properties are also dependent on the micro-environment of the cell, as substrate stiffness changes cell internal mechanical properties, as well as the cytoskeleton structure. Thus, the understanding of the mechanics involved in the variation of the viscoelastic properties is crucial for the study of tumor progression.Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has proved to be a reliable tool to probe static and frequency–dependent mechanical properties of soft materials, like biological specimens, at small scale with high resolution.In this study, we propose new markers of cancer metastasis based on a cell mechanics approach. We report on the viscoelastic properties of human bladder cancer cells measured by dynamic indentation experiments using AFM. This method is first calibrated using polyacrylamide gels and a fractional model is proposed to describe the behavior of such gels. We then investigate the complex shear modulus of three different cell lines with different metastatic potential. We probe the elastic G' and viscous G'' modulus at three different locations across the cell: nucleus, perinucleus and the cell periphery. With the use of actin inhibitory drugs, we correlate mechanical properties and the actin microstructure obtained by confocal microscopy imaging. We propose a simplified power-law model to describe the behavior of the elastic and viscous moduli. We also report a relationship between the malignancy of cancer cells and their viscoelastic properties. In particular, we find that the elastic plateau modulus and the transition frequency (frequency at which G' = G'' ) can be used as markers of invasiveness. Then, we probe the complex shear modulus of cancer cells on different mechanical and biological environments and we report intriguing properties of the periphery of cancer cells.
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Yara Abidine. Propriétés mécaniques locales de cellules cancéreuses de la vessie mesurées par AFM. Mécanique [physics.med-ph]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAI046⟩. ⟨tel-01234563⟩

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