Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biomechanical cell properties highly relevant for cancer research

12.10.2010
Biomechanical changes of cells are a prerequisite for tumor growth and invasion of cancer cells. These new research finding in the field of biophysics of cancer cells were published recently by the group of Prof. Dr. Josef A. Käs together with Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Höckel (both University of Leipzig, Germany) in an invited article in Nature Physics. The publication is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in Washington DC.

Based on material’s properties of (cancer) cells the physicist Prof. Dr. Josef A. Käs as well as the medical scientist Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Höckel came to the following results which could give rise to considerably changes in cancer therapies:

The research team found out that the biomechanical properties of tumor cells promote their growth as well as their invasion within the human body. Three biomechanical properties are in the focus of these observations: First, the outer cytoskeleton, the so called actin cortex of cancer cells is much softer and supports fast growth and cell division.

“We could evidence such behavior in a first clinical study, for example with Prof. Thorsten Remmerbach for oral cancer” claims the physicist. The second striking biomechanical property of cancer cells affects the tumor growth against the normal tissue surrounding the tumor: “Obviously, the cells do not have to stiffen linearly to grow against the environment. We can solve the apparent contradiction by considering that the soft actin cortex gets softer but nevertheless, it can resist high pressures exerted from the surroundings.

In return, elements of the cytoskeleton are pronounced which results in an
overall stiffening of the tumor.” The third biomechanical property considers the ability of metastasizing cancer cells to overcome boundaries between different tissues. “Normal cells usually favor to stay together,” Käs explains. Metastasizing cells can overcome the boundaries by very sensitive reaction on mechanical impulses and contraction. Thus, cancer cells quickly mix with other cells. Together with the ability of self-contraction these cancer cells can leave the primary tumor and metastasize.
The self-contraction is the central observation which is presented in “Nature” to the specialised public and researchers. From these and so far obtained scientific results new approached for diagnostic and therapy can be derived.

In reverse to the cell properties mentioned above, the researchers from Leipzig investigate agents which influence these properties to obtain new possibilities to suppress growth and invasion of tumor cells: “It is still a long way to go. However, we have new approaches for that,” Käs claims. His research is supported by the BMBF project AGESCREEN and EXPRIMAGE, as well as by the DFG Initiative of Excellence within the graduate school BuildMoNa.

The investigation of changes in physical, i.e. material, properties of cells during progression of cancer is an emerging field in physics redefining medical physics and now redefines itself based on material science. The University of Leipzig plays a leading role in this new field.

Meanwhile, the new findings were employed to apply for a patent with the title “Method for diagnosis and/or prognosis of cancer diseases by analysis of the mechanical properties of tumor cells.”

Event announcement:
The minisymposium „Physics of Cancer“ organized by the graduate school BuildMoNa, which is located at the physics and chemistry department of the University of Leipzig, will take place Oct. 25-26, 2010. Thus, world’s leading investigators in this field have accepted the invitation, such as Prof. Roland Eils, German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg (DKFZ), Prof. Francoise Brochard, Institut Curie (Paris), Prof. W. Losert, U.S. National Cancer Institut, as well as Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Höckel, Medical Department, Universität Leipzig, and Josef A. Käs, Department of Physics and Earth Science, University of Leipzig.

The minisymposium will be opend by the major of Leipzig Burkhard Jung on Oct. 25th, 9 h at the University of Leipzig, Seminargebäude, Room 420, Universitätsstr. 1.

More information:
Prof. Dr. Josef A. Käs
Telefon: +49 341 97-32470
E-Mail: jkaes@physik.uni-leipzig.de

Dr. Manuela Rutsatz | Universität Leipzig
Further information:
http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~pwm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>