Home HOME General Physiology and Biophysics 2013 General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.32, No.3, p.337–346, 2013

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Founded: 1982
ISSN  1338-4325 (online)

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General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.32, No.3, p.337–346, 2013

Title: The effect of photodynamic treatment on the morphological and mechanical properties of the HeLa cell line
Author: Petr Kolar, Katerina Tomankova, Jakub Malohlava, Jana Zapletalova, Milan Vujtek, Klara Safarova, Dalibor Jancik, Hana Kolarova


High resolution imaging of biological structures and changes induced by various agents such as drugs and toxins is commonly performed by fluorescence and electron microscopy (EM). Although high-resolution imaging is possible with EM, the requirements for fixation and staining of samples for image contrast severely limits the study of living organisms. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), on the other hand, is capable of simultaneous nanometer spatial resolution and piconewton force detection, allowing detailed study of cell surface morphology and monitoring cytomechanical information. We present a method that images and studies mechanically characterized cells using AFM. We used a HeLa cell line (cervix carcinoma cell), which is sensitive to photodynamic treatment (PDT); growth media as a scanning surrounding; atomic force microscopy NT-MDT Aura for cytomechanical measurement; and scanning electron microscope Hitachi Su 6600 for control images of the cells. The modulus of elasticity for intact and photodynamically damaged cells can indicate mechanical changes to the main properties of cells. Cell elasticity changes can provide information on the degree or value of cell damage, for example after PDT. Measurements were carried out on approximately sixty cells, including three independent experiments on a control group and on sixty cells in a photodamaged group. Cells before PDT show higher elasticity: the median of Young´s modulus on the nucleus was 35.283 kPa and outside of the nucleus 107.442 kPa. After PDT, the median of Young’s modulus on the nucleus was 61.144 kPa and outside of the nucleus was 193.605 kPa.

Keywords: Atomic force microscopy — Photodynamic treatment — Cytomechanical properties — Young´s modulus
Year: 2013, Volume: 32, Issue: 3 Page From: 337, Page To: 346

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