Nano Express

Nanoscale Research Letters

, 4:942

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Membrane Surface Nanostructures and Adhesion Property of T Lymphocytes Exploited by AFM

  • Yangzhe WuAffiliated withChemistry Department, Jinan University
  • , Hongsong LuAffiliated withInstitution for Tissue Transplantation and Immunology, Jinan University
  • , Jiye CaiAffiliated withChemistry Department, Jinan University Email author 
  • , Xianhui HeAffiliated withInstitution for Tissue Transplantation and Immunology, Jinan University
  • , Yi HuAffiliated withChemistry Department, Jinan University
  • , HongXia ZhaoAffiliated withFaculty of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology
  • , Xiaoping WangAffiliated withThe First Affiliated Hospital, Jinan University


The activation of T lymphocytes plays a very important role in T-cell-mediated immune response. Though there are many related literatures, the changes of membrane surface nanostructures and adhesion property of T lymphocytes at different activation stages have not been reported yet. However, these investigations will help us further understand the biophysical and immunologic function of T lymphocytes in the context of activation. In the present study, the membrane architectures of peripheral blood T lymphocytes were obtained by AFM, and adhesion force of the cell membrane were measured by acquiring force–distance curves. The results indicated that the cell volume increased with the increases of activation time, whereas membrane surface adhesion force decreased, even though the local stiffness for resting and activated cells is similar. The results provided complementary and important data to further understand the variation of biophysical properties of T lymphocytes in the context of in vitro activation.


T lymphocytes Cell activation Membrane nanostructures Adhesion force