Measuring Elastic Properties of Single Cancer Cells by AFM

  • Małgorzata LekkaEmail author
  • Joanna Pabijan
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1886)


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) enables the measurements of the elastic properties of individual cells in liquids that mimic natural conditions. The single-cell deformability, quantitatively described through the Young’s (elastic) modulus, can be used as a marker of pathological alterations, particularly those observed in cancer progression. Here, the AFM-based measurements and data analysis of mechanical properties of single cancerous cells are presented.

Key words

Atomic force microscopy Single-cell deformability Young’s (elastic) modulus Cancer cell mechanics 



This work was supported by National Science Centre (Poland) project no UMO-2014/15/B/ST4/04737. The JPK purchase has been realized under the project co-funded by the Małopolska Regional Operational Program, Measure 5.1—Krakow Metropolitan Area as an important hub of the European Research Area for 2007–2013, project No. MRPO.05.01.00-12-013/15.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysical MicrostructuresInstitute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of SciencesKrakowPoland

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