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Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 24;8(1):15708. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34024-3.

Characterizing Deformability of Drug Resistant Patient-Derived Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Cells Using Acoustic Tweezers.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering and NIH Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center, University of Southern California, 1042 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, 4650 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.
3
Department of Creative IT Engineering and Future IT Innovation Laboratory, Pohang University of Science and Technology, 77 Cheongam-ro, Nam-gu, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 37673, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering and NIH Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center, University of Southern California, 1042 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA. kkshung@usc.edu.
5
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, 4650 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA. ymkim@chla.usc.edu.

Abstract

The role of cell mechanics in cancer cells is a novel research area that has resulted in the identification of new mechanisms of therapy resistance. Single beam acoustic (SBA) tweezers are a promising technology for the quantification of the mechanical phenotype of cells. Our previous study showed that SBA tweezers can be used to quantify the deformability of adherent breast cancer cell lines. The physical properties of patient-derived (primary) pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells involved in chemotherapeutic resistance have not been widely investigated. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of analyzing primary pre-B ALL cells from four cases using SBA tweezers. ALL cells showed increased deformability with increasing acoustic pressure of the SBA tweezers. Moreover, ALL cells that are resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs were more deformable than were untreated ALL cells. We demonstrated that SBA tweezers can quantify the deformability of nonadherent leukemia cells and discriminate this mechanical phenotype in chemotherapy-resistant leukemia cells in a contact- and label-free manner.

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