Single-cell compressibility quantification for assessing metastatic potential of cancer cells through multi-frequency acoustophoresis

  • Han Wang
  • Zhongzheng Liu
  • Dong M. Shin
  • Zhuo G. Chen
  • Younghak Cho
  • Yong-Joe Kim
  • Arum Han
Short Communication


Analyzing cancer cell compressibility with single-cell resolution is of high interest in understanding cancer metastasis as well as in other cell biology applications. Here, a multi-frequency acoustophoretic cell alignment technique to precisely control cell positions in 3D space was developed, and combined with our recently developed numerical acoustophoresis model, which allowed extracting the compressibility of cells with high accuracy. This technology was applied to measure the compressibility of different head and neck cancer (HNC) cell lines that have different metastatic potential. This method can be a simple, non-contact, accurate, and low-cost solution for studying cell biomechanics and utilizing such biomechanical properties in evaluating the metastatic potential of cancer cells.


Cell compressibility Multi-frequency acoustophoresis Metastatic potential of cancer cells Acoustofluidics 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant No. ECCS 1232251.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Han Wang
    • 1
  • Zhongzheng Liu
    • 2
  • Dong M. Shin
    • 3
  • Zhuo G. Chen
    • 3
  • Younghak Cho
    • 4
  • Yong-Joe Kim
    • 2
  • Arum Han
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of MedicineTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Department of Hematology and Medical OncologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical System Design EngineeringSeoul National University of Science and TechnologySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  6. 6.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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