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Cellular mechanical properties reflect the differentiation potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells
- González-Cruz, Rafael D., Fonseca, Vera C., Darling, Eric M.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012 v.109 no.24 pp. E1523
- atomic force microscopy, biomarkers, clones, immune response, mechanical properties, metabolites, stem cells, tissues, translation (genetics), viscoelasticity
- The mechanical properties of adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) clones correlate with their ability to produce tissue-specific metabolites, a finding that has dramatic implications for cell-based regenerative therapies. Autologous ASCs are an attractive cell source due to their immunogenicity and multipotent characteristics. However, for practical applications ASCs must first be purified from other cell types, a critical step which has proven difficult using surface-marker approaches. Alternative enrichment strategies identifying broad categories of tissue-specific cells are necessary for translational applications. One possibility developed in our lab uses single-cell mechanical properties as predictive biomarkers of ASC clonal differentiation capability. Elastic and viscoelastic properties of undifferentiated ASCs were tested via atomic force microscopy and correlated with lineage-specific metabolite production. Cell sorting simulations based on these “mechanical biomarkers” indicated they were predictive of differentiation capability and could be used to enrich for tissue-specific cells, which if implemented could dramatically improve the quality of regenerated tissues.