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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Justyna Bobrowska abstract

Justyna Bobrowska oral presentation (OB3-Tue3-1-1)

Biochemical and nanomechanical characterization of melanoma cells

Justyna Bobrowska1, Joanna Pabijan1, Kamil Awsiuk2, Jakub Rysz2, Andrzej Budkowski2, Małgorzata Lekka1

1 Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, Radzikowskiego 152, 31-342 Kraków, Poland
2 Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Łojasiewicza 11, 30-348 Kraków, Poland


Cutaneous melanoma is one of the most aggressive skin cancers. Despite outgoing advances in diagnosis and treatment, its incidence rate is still increasing, faster than for any other solid tumor. Because of that there is an urgent need for the search and optimizing new scientific approaches in the melanoma progression investigations. Searching for new cancer biomarkers is still a great challenge since, so far, there is no single biomarker, which has an ability to detect cancers of different organs with high specificity and sensitivity. That is why interdisciplinary approach combining complimentary techniques and the convergence of diverse disciplines can accelerate the progress in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) allows for the determination of elastic properties of living cells [1], while Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF SIMS) enables measurements of their biochemical surface composition [2,3]. In the presented work we have used the combination of these two techniques to evaluate whether there is a correlation between cellular deformability and the surface chemical properties in the melanoma cells. To realize it, the mechanical and surface chemical properties of seven melanoma cell lines originating from various stages of melanoma progression were investigated and compared with primary melanocytes cell line. As SIMS experiments have to be carried out in the high vacuum, the appropriate sample preparation protocol was used [4]. The significant differences in the elastic properties of different cell lines, followed by alterations in biochemical composition of cellular surface were found. To our knowledge, this is the first study, combining SIMS surface analysis with AFM elasticity measurements, what allows for the complex investigation of biochemical as well as biophysical properties of single cells.

[1] J. Gostek, S. Prauzner-Bechcicki, B. Nimmervoll, K. Mayr, J. Pabijan, P. Hinterdorfer, L. Chtcheglova, M. Lekka, European Biophysics Journal 44, 2015, 49-55.

[2] J. Gostek, K. Awsiuk, J. Pabijan, J. Rysz, A. Budkowski, M. Lekka, Analytical Chemistry 87(6), 2015, 3195–3201.

[3] J. Bobrowska; J. Moffat; K. Awsiuk; J. Pabijan; J. Rysz; A. Budkowski; M. Reading; M. Lekka, Analyst 141, 2016, 6217-6225.

[4] J. Bobrowska, J. Pabijan, J. Wiltowska-Zuber, B.R. Jany, F. Krok, K. Awsiuk, J. Rysz, A. Budkowski, M. Lekka, Analytical Biochemistry 511, 2016, 52-60.

The work has been financed by the NCN project no DEC-2013/11/N/ST4/01860. JB is grateful to Polish National Science Center (NCN) for the financial support of the ETIUDA scholarship no DEC-2015/16/T/ST4/00358.