• Application of atomic force microscope in diagnosis of single cancer cells

      Lu, Zhengcheng; Wang, Zuobin; Li, Dayou; ; University of Bedfordshire; Changchun University of Science and Technology (American Institute of Physics Inc., 2020-09-04)
      Changes in mechanical properties of cells are closely related to a variety of diseases. As an advanced technology on the micro/nano scale, atomic force microscopy is the most suitable tool for information acquisition of living cells in human body fluids. AFMs are able to measure and characterize the mechanical properties of cells which can be used as effective markers to distinguish between different cell types and cells in different states (benign or cancerous). Therefore, they can be employed to obtain additional information to that obtained via the traditional biochemistry methods for better identifying and diagnosing cancer cells for humans, proposing better treatment methods and prognosis, and unravelling the pathogenesis of the disease. In this report, we review the use of AFMs in cancerous tissues, organs, and cancer cells cultured in vitro to obtain cellular mechanical properties, demonstrate and summarize the results of AFMs in cancer biology, and look forward to possible future applications and the direction of development.
    • Single-cell patterning technology for biological applications

      Wang, Zihui; Lang, Baihe; Qu, Yingmin; Li, Li; Song, Zhengxun; Wang, Zuobin; ; Changchun University of Science and Technology; University of Bedfordshire (AIP Publishing, 2019-11-11)
      Single-cell patterning technology has revealed significant contributions of single cells to conduct basic and applied biological studies in vitro such as the understanding of basic cell functions, neuronal network formation, and drug screening. Unlike traditional population-based cell patterning approaches, single-cell patterning is an effective technology of fully understanding cell heterogeneity by precisely controlling the positions of individual cells. Therefore, much attention is currently being paid to this technology, leading to the development of various micro-nanofabrication methodologies that have been applied to locate cells at the single-cell level. In recent years, various methods have been continuously improved and innovated on the basis of existing ones, overcoming the deficiencies and promoting the progress in biomedicine. In particular, microfluidics with the advantages of high throughput, small sample volume, and the ability to combine with other technologies has a wide range of applications in single-cell analysis. Here, we present an overview of the recent advances in single-cell patterning technology, with a special focus on current physical and physicochemical methods including stencil patterning, trap- and droplet-based microfluidics, and chemical modification on surfaces via photolithography, microcontact printing, and scanning probe lithography. Meanwhile, the methods applied to biological studies and the development trends of single-cell patterning technology in biological applications are also described.