Quantitative characterization of mechano-biological interrelationships of single cells

  • Ying LiEmail author
  • Junyang Li
  • Zhijie Huan
  • Yuanchao Hu


This paper presented a quantitative investigation on the alteration of cell biological functions in relation to the change of mechanical properties of single cells. Leukemia NB4 cells were used as cell line. The dielectrophoresis (DEP) method was utilized to verify the mechanical properties variation of NB4 cells under the electric field treatment. A quantitative study of cell mechanical properties was then carried out using optical tweezers (OT), and cell biological properties using gene expression measurement. The result shows cell stiffness decreased after electric treatment. Biological properties related to cell motility, structure, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and metastases changed with cell mechanical properties variation.


Quantitative investigation Mechano-biological interrelationship Optical tweezers Dielectrophoresis 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Anskar Leung of the Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, for providing NB4 cells for experimental tests.

Funding information

This work was supported in part by grants from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Administrative Region, China (Reference no. CityU 9/CRF/13G and CityU 11211714), and Shenzhen Science and Technology Project, China (project no. R-IND13301).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringCity University of Hong Kong CityKowloonChina
  2. 2.School of Electrical Engineering and AutomationXiamen University of TechnologyXiamenChina
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering & Material ScienceYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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