AFM Observation of Heightened Cell Periphery of High-Grade Glioblastoma Cell Lines

James R. Smith, Zaynah Maherally, Samantha C. Higgins, Qian An, Helen L. Fillmore, Geoffrey J. Pilkington
  • BioNanoScience, January 2016, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/s12668-015-0188-3

Height of cell edges of brain tumour cells indicative of invasion?

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

What is it about?

Highly invasive brain tumours (Glioblastoma multiforme, GBM) have a very poor prognosis for patients with the condition (median survival 14.2 months). Using an atomic force microscope, we have shown that the leading edges (lamellipodia) of these moving brain tumour cells are significantly higher than normal (non-cancerous) brain cells. The edges of GBM cells are also higher than those of low-grade glioma cells.

Why is it important?

These results indicate that the heights at the leading-edges of brain cells might be related to invasion potential and therefore may provide new insights for monitoring and controlling cellular invasion in brain tumours.


Dr James R Smith
University of Portsmouth

A postprint version of this AFM study can be downloaded for free from the resoures section (right-hand-side panel).

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr James R Smith