There is an unmet need in tissue engineering for non-invasive, label-free monitoring of cell mechanical behaviour in their physiological environment. Here, we describe a novel optical coherence phase microscopy (OCPM) set-up which can map relative cell mechanical behaviour in monolayers and 3D systems non-invasively, and in real-time. 3T3 and MCF-7 cells were investigated, with MCF-7 demonstrating an increased response to hydrostatic stimulus indicating MCF-7 being softer than 3T3. Thus, OCPM shows the ability to provide qualitative data on cell mechanical behaviour. Quantitative measurements of 6% agarose beads have been taken with commercial Cell Scale Microsquisher system demonstrating that their mechanical properties are in the same order of magnitude of cells, indicating that this is an appropriate test sample for the novel method described.
D. Gillies, W. Gamal, A. Downes, Y. Reinwald, Y. Yang, A. El Haj, and P. O. Bagnaninchi, "Real-time and non-invasive measurements of cell mechanical behaviour with optical coherence phase microscopy," Proc. SPIE 10067, Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics IV, 100670Y (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 21 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251492.
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