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Researchers use cell 'profiling' to detect abnormalities -- including cancer
Date:1/25/2011

kun said. "That's why I believe that one of the most important applications of this research is profiling cancer cells. Given a cell's motion and its morphological changes, we want to be able to determine what's happening inside the cell. If it looks like a cancer cell, and a particularly aggressive one, we would like to quantify how likely it is that the cancer cells will invade the body."

In a very basic sense, diagnosing a "sick" cell such as a cancer cell by its appearance, motion, and behavior is analogous to diagnosing a sick human, he said. "When we get sick, our behavior changes. We may stay in bed, sleep a lot -- maybe we are coughing or sneezing. These are basic symptoms that a doctor will consider to determine if we're sick. Abnormalities oftentimes manifest themselves as behavioral changes in all living organisms. Therefore, a careful analysis of and profiling the behavioral patterns of single cells could provide valuable information."

Cell motion is important for all life, he continued. White blood cells move when they attack microbes that have invaded the body. A wound heals when newly grown cells move in to close it. But something about aggressive cancer cells causes them to move from the tumor where they originated into the blood stream, where they migrate to different organs and grow out of control.

Living cells often change shape, expand, or contract, and Coskun believes that he and his colleagues can create unique "personality profiles" of cancer cells.

Coskun and his colleague, Hasan Coskun, assistant professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University-Commerce, used a branch of physics called continuum mechanics to derive equations that describe cells' appearance and behavior. They compared their model outcomes to findings from past cancer studies, which indicated that cancer cells are more deformable than normal cells.

The researchers discovered that their model results agree with those experimental fin
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Contact: Huseyin Coskun
coskun.5@osu.edu
614-292-5131
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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