It has been hypothesized that highly metastatic cancer cells have softer nuclei and hence would travel faster through confining environments. Our goal was to prove this untested hypothesis for prostate cells. Our nuclear creep experiments using a microfluidic channel with a narrow constriction show that stiffness of aggressive immortalized prostate cancer nuclei is significantly lower than that of immortalized normal cell nuclei and hence can be a convenient malignancy marker. Nuclear stiffness is found to be the highest for cells expressing high levels of lamin A/C but lowest for cells expressing low lamin A/C levels. Decreased chromatin condensation found in softer nuclei suggests that the former can also be a marker for aggressive cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry