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Investigating biomechanical noise in neuroblastoma cells using the quartz crystal microbalance.

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Prasad, Abhinav 
Huefner, Anna 
Mahajan, Sumeet 
Seshia, Ashwin A 


Quantifying cellular behaviour by motility and morphology changes is increasingly important in formulating an understanding of fundamental physiological phenomena and cellular mechanisms of disease. However, cells are complex biological units, which often respond to external environmental factors by manifesting subtle responses that may be difficult to interpret using conventional biophysical measurements. This paper describes the adaptation of the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to monitor neuroblastoma cells undergoing environmental stress wherein the frequency stability of the device can be correlated to changes in cellular state. By employing time domain analysis of the resulting frequency fluctuations, it is possible to study the variations in cellular motility and distinguish between different cell states induced by applied external heat stress. The changes in the frequency fluctuation data are correlated to phenotypical physical response recorded using optical microscopy under identical conditions of environmental stress. This technique, by probing the associated biomechanical noise, paves the way for its use in monitoring cell activity, and intrinsic motility and morphology changes, as well as the modulation resulting from the action of drugs, toxins and environmental stress.



biomechanical noise, frequency stability, neuroblastoma cells, quartz crystal microbalance, Biosensing Techniques, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Movement, Cell Size, Elastic Modulus, Equipment Design, Equipment Failure Analysis, Humans, Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems, Neuroblastoma, Neurons, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Signal-To-Noise Ratio, Stress, Mechanical

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J R Soc Interface

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The Royal Society