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Monitoring cell detachment on PEG-based thermoresponsive surfaces using TIRF microscopy

: Uhlig, K.; Wischerhoff, E.; Lutz, J.-F.; Laschewsky, A.; Jaeger, M.S.; Lankenau, A.; Duschl, C.


Soft matter 6 (2010), No.17, pp.4262-4267
ISSN: 1744-683X
ISSN: 1744-6848
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Recently, we introduced a thermoresponsive copolymer that consists of oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (OEGMA) and 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate (MEO2MA). The polymer exhibited an LCST at 35 °C in PBS buffer and was anchored onto gold substrates using disulfide polymerisation initiators. It allows the noninvasive detachment of adherent cells from their substrate. As the mechanisms that determine the interaction of cells with such polymers are not well understood, we employed Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in order to monitor the detachment process of cells of two different types. We identified contact area and average cell?substrate distance as crucial parameters for the evaluation of the detachment process. The sensitivity of TIRF microscopy allowed us to correlate the specific adhesion pattern of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with the morphology of cell deposits that may serve as fingerprints for a nondestructive characterisation of live cells.