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Researchers characterize biomechanics of ovarian cells according to phenotype at stages of cancer
Date:7/5/2011

Using ovarian surface epithelial cells from mice, researchers from Virginia Tech have released findings from a study that they believe will help in cancer risk assessment, cancer diagnosis, and treatment efficiency in a technical journal: Nanomedicine http://www.nanomedjournal.com/article/S1549-9634%2811%2900184-5/abstract

By studying the viscoelastic properties of the ovarian cells of mice, they were able to identify differences between early stages of ovarian cancer and more advanced and aggressive phenotypes.

Their studies showed a mouse's ovarian cells are stiffer and more viscous when they are benign. Increases in cell deformation "directly correlates with the progression from a non-tumor benign cell to a malignant one that can produce tumors and metastases in mice," said Masoud Agah, director of Virginia Tech's Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory http://www.ece.vt.edu/mems/ and the lead investigator on the study.

Their findings are consistent with a University of California at Los Angeles study that reported lung, breast, and pancreatic metastatic cells are 70 percent softer than benign cells. http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/v2/n12/full/nnano.2007.388.html

The findings also support Agah group's previous reports on elastic properties of breast cell lines. The digital object identifiers to find the studies on the web are: doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.05.023 doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.02.034

Agah worked with Eva Schmelz of Virginia Tech's Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise http://www.hnfe.vt.edu/about_us/Bios_faculty/bio_schmelz_eva.html, Chris Roberts of the Virginia-Maryland Reg
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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