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BioMechanics

It is well accepted notion that transformed cells are often distinguishable from healthy cells in many aspects including cell growth, adhesion, morphology, and organization of the cytoskeleton structure. In our lab, we are studying cell biomechanics which can find applications in cancer cell diagnosis as well as anticancer drug treatment and therapy control. Specifically, we have developed unique 3D cell culture platforms that can provide contolled mechanical constrains on cells. We have used these unique MEMS culture systems along with 3D confocal and SEM imaging to analyze cell-cell communicaiton, cell-substrate interactions, and cell cytoskeleton reorganization for different cell models. Moreover, we are using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and its unique nanoscale precision to study cell viscoelastic properties and identify key differences between non-transformed and cancer cells.