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Scientists open new chapter in cell biology and medicine


Nature Methods publishes innovative method for mechanical screening of biological cells developed in Dresden

An entirely new approach for the mechanical characterization of cells, developed by scientists of the Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden), has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases. Cells, like any other material, have mechanical properties that can serve for their characterization. For example, cancer cells are characteristically more deformable than healthy cells. These mechanical properties can be determined without specialized, costly and time-consuming preparation, which makes them highly attractive for diagnosis and prognosis in medical applications. However, there has so far been a lack of an adequate method to mechanically screen large populations of cells in a short amount of time. Scientists at the TU Dresden have now presented a novel method, which addresses this need and which will help to answer many open questions in biology, physics, chemistry and medicine. The method is now being published in the current issue of Nature Methods.

Press release
Photo: Real-Time Deformability Cytometry (RT-DC) to determine the mechanical fingerprint of blood. Cells flow at a velocity of 10 cm/s from right to left through the microfluidic channel (width oft the image shown: 1.5 mm). The sheath flow from the upper and lower right corners focuses the cells for cell deformability measurements in the narrowest part of the channel. This focusing causes the formation of heart-shaped streamlines as illustrated here by an inverted overlay of many single frames. ©BIOTEC



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