Breast cancer cells and substrate stiffness
MCF-7 cells adapt their viscoelastic properties according to the stiffness of the surrounding substrate
Cells sense stiffness of surrounding tissues and adapt their activity, proliferation, motility and mechanical properties based on such interactions. Cancer and other diseases alter stiffness of tissues, and the response of cancer cells to this stiffness can also be affected.
The goal of this study was to analyse the effects of substrate elasticity on the mechanical properties of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. For this, MCF-7 cells were plated on polyacrilamide gels of varying stiffness (0.1 – 264 kPa) and their elastic and viscoelastic properties were measured using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).