A new imaging method allows analyzing of living tumor cells behavior
The death of patients with solid tumor is 90 % caused by metastases. Thanks to the new method of holographic microscopy developed by scientists from the experimental group Biophotonics at CEITEC BUT, the observation and analysis of invasive behavior of tumor cells is possible even in an insufficiently transparent 3D environment of collagen gel, which imitates the natural environment of the organism. Radim Chmelik's team in collaboration with the BIOCEV team of Jan Brabek revealed the details of the interaction of the tumor cell with its surroundings during the invasion. These findings may be useful in the future in finding more effective cancer treatment.
Observing and analyzing the behavior of tumor cells in the 3D environment is crucial for the study of the origin of metastases. Radim Chmelik's team came up with a new optical phase imaging method that is non-invasive, i.e. without any cell staining. This may affect cellular functions. Such observation can be very challenging in a clouded environment, such as collagen gel. Using coherence-controlled holographic microscopy (CCHM), scientists have not only succeeded in quantitative observation, but have also been able to measure the amount of cell mass that shifts in the investigated processes: "Thanks to our method, we have been able to observe and analyze mesenchymal (enzymatic) and amoeboid (force) invasion of human tumor cells and evaluate some important phenomena accompanying this invasion. Understanding the mechanisms of tumor cell invasion is very important for finding new antitumor treatments,” said Radim Chmelík, the head of the Experimental Biophotonics research group at CEITEC BUT.