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Application of Cell Mechanics in Disease Detection & Diagnosis



During the onset of a disease, a cell may experience changes in the composition and organization of its cellular structures. These changes may then lead to alterations in its geometrical and biomechanical properties such as cell size and shape, deformability and adhesion [1]. In fact, these cellular physical and mechanical property changes are known to directly contribute to the pathology of diseases [1]. By conducting cell mechanics studies, not only can we elucidate changes in the structure-property-function relationship of diseased cells [2,3], we can also exploit such knowledge to develop mechanics based microdevices for better disease detection and diagnosis [4]. Here, we will illustrate with examples of two diseases, malaria and cancer, and show how we can exploit the cell mechanical property changes as biomechanical markers for detection and diagnosis. In particular, we will also showcase the development of 1D, 2D and spiral microfluidic devices that harness the changes in cell mechanical properties for us to effectively and efficiently detect and isolate these diseased cells [5].


Human diseases; cell mechanics; microfluidic devices; disease detection; diagnosisText

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