AFM cantilever force, f, plotted versus distance, h, from normal (green) and cancerous (red) cell bodies. Cancerous cells show significantly different force behavior compared to normal cells (highlighted by the circle). Data were collected in force-volume mode with a Dimension 3100 AFM with an NPXY100Z25A scanner from nPoint. Image adapted from Iyer et al; Nature Nanotechnology. 2009; 4(6):389-93.
A research team lead by Dr. Igor Sokolov of Clarkson University has discovered that cancerous human cervical epithelial cells have membrane protrusions that are significantly different from those exhibited by their healthy counterparts (Iyer et al. Nature Nanotechnology. 2009; 4(6):389-93). These protrusions, also called “brushes,” play an important role in the interaction between cells and the environment.