Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Microsensors Offer First Look at Whether Cell Mass Affects Growth Rate

Abstract:
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new kind of microsensor to answer one of the weightiest questions in biology - the relationship between cell mass and growth rate.

Microsensors Offer First Look at Whether Cell Mass Affects Growth Rate

Bethesda, MD | Posted on December 17th, 2010

The team, led by Rashid Bashir, published its results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Bashir is the co-principal investigator of one of six Cancer Nanotechnology Training Centers funded by the National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.

Biologists have long questioned whether cells grow at a fixed rate or whether growth accelerates as mass increases. But the mechanics of cellular growth and division are important not only for basic biology, but also for diagnostics, drug development, tissue engineering and understanding cancer. For example, documenting these processes could help identify specific drug targets to slow or stop the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells.

Previous studies have used aggregate populations of cells, making it impossible to determine patterns of individual cell growth. With their small, sensitive microsensors, Dr. Bashir and his colleagues were able to track individual colon cancer cells' masses and divisions over time. The investigators found that the cells they studied did grow faster as they grew heavier, rather than growing at the same rate throughout the cell cycle.

Each microsensor is a tiny, suspended platform made in silicon on a chip. The suspended scale vibrates at a particular frequency, which changes when mass is added. As a cell's mass increases, the sensor's resonant frequency goes down. "As you make the structure smaller and smaller, it becomes more sensitive to the mass that's placed on it," Dr. Bashir said. "A cell is a few nanograms in mass or smaller. If we can make our sensor small enough, then it becomes sensitive to cell mass."

The researchers created an array of hundreds of sensors on a chip. They can culture cells on the chip in much the same way that scientists grow cells in a dish. Thus, they can collect data from many cells at once, while still recording individual cellular measurements. Another advantage of these microsensors is the ability to image cells with microscopes while cells grow on the sensors. Researchers can track the cells visually, opening the possibilities of tracking various cellular processes in conjunction with changes in mass. "Imaging acts as a control. You can actually watch the cell divide and grow and correlate that to your measurements. It really validates what you have," explained Dr. Bashir. "There are lots of optical measurements that now you can integrate with mass sensing."

Next, the researchers plan to extend the study to other cell lines, and explore more optical measurements and fluorescent markers. "These technologies can also be used for diagnostic purposes, or for screening. For example, we could study cell growth and mass and changes in the cell structure based on drugs or chemicals," Bashir said.

This work is detailed in a paper titled, "Measurement of adherent cell mass and growth." An abstract of this paper is available at the journal's website.

View abstract at www.pnas.org/content/107/48/20691

####

About NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
To help meet the goal of reducing the burden of cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer.

Currently, scientists are limited in their ability to turn promising molecular discoveries into benefits for cancer patients. Nanotechnology can provide the technical power and tools that will enable those developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventives to keep pace with today’s explosion in knowledge.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Possible Futures

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Academic/Education

Oxford Nanoimaging report on how the Nanoimager, a desktop microscope delivering single molecule, super-resolution performance, is being applied at the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology & Infection November 22nd, 2016

The University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria uses Deben tensile stages as an integral part of their computed tomography research and testing facility October 18th, 2016

Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education October 13th, 2016

New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF October 12th, 2016

Nanomedicine

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Keystone Nano Announces FDA Approval Of Investigational New Drug Application For Ceramide NanoLiposome For The Improved Treatment Of Cancer January 10th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Arrowhead Provides Response to New Minority Shareholder Announcement January 7th, 2017

Sensors

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Researchers create practical and versatile microscopic optomechanical device: Trapping light and mechanical waves within a tiny bullseye, design could enable more sensitive motion detection January 11th, 2017

STMicroelectronics Peps Up Booming Social-Fitness Scene with Smart Motion Sensors for Better Accuracy, Longer Battery Life, and Faster Time to Market January 2nd, 2017

Advance in intense pulsed light sintering opens door to improved electronics manufacturing December 23rd, 2016

Announcements

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Keystone Nano Announces FDA Approval Of Investigational New Drug Application For Ceramide NanoLiposome For The Improved Treatment Of Cancer January 10th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project