Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 34102526
Link to DOI – S0142-9612(21)00259-310.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.120903
Biomaterials 2021 08; 275(): 120903
Cells tend to soften during cancer progression, suggesting that mechanical phenotyping could be used as a diagnostic or prognostic method. Here we investigate the cell mechanics of gliomas, brain tumors that originate from glial cells or glial progenitors. Using two microrheology techniques, a single-cell parallel plates rheometer to probe whole-cell mechanics and optical tweezers to probe intracellular rheology, we show that cell mechanics discriminates human glioma cells of different grades. When probed globally, grade IV glioblastoma cells are softer than grade III astrocytoma cells, while they are surprisingly stiffer at the intracellular level. We explain this difference between global and local intracellular behaviours by changes in the composition and spatial organization of the cytoskeleton, and by changes in nuclear mechanics. Our study highlights the need to combine rheology techniques for potential diagnostic or prognostic methods based on cancer cell mechanophenotyping.