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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has recently attracted much attention due to its ability to analyze biomolecular interactions and to detect certain biomolecules, which play a crucial role in disease expression. Despite recent studies reporting AFM imaging for the analyses of biomolecules, the application of AFM-based cancer-specific biomolecule/cell detection has remained largely underexplored, especially for the early diagnosis of cancer. In this paper, we review the recent attempts, including our efforts, to analyze and detect cancer-specific biomolecules and cancer cells. We particularly focus on two AFM-based cancer diagnosis techniques: (i) AFM imaging-based biomolecular and cellular detection, (ii) AFM cantilever-based biomolecular sensing and cell analysis. It is shown that AFM-based biomolecular detection has been applied for not only early diagnosing cancer, by measuring the minute amount of cancer-specific proteins, but also monitoring of cancer progression, by correlating the amount of cancer-specific proteins with the progression of cancer. In addition, AFM-based cell imaging and detection have been employed for diagnosing cancer, by detecting cancerous cells in tissue, as well as understanding cancer progression, by characterizing the dynamics of cancer cells. This review, therefore, highlights AFM-based biomolecule/cell detection, which will pave the way for developing a fast and point-of-care diagnostic system for biomedical applications.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Reviews on cancer
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Scanning microscopy in which a very sharp probe is employed in close proximity to a surface, exploiting a particular surface-related property. When this property is local topography, the method is atomic force microscopy (MICROSCOPY, ATOMIC FORCE), and when it is local conductivity, the method is scanning tunneling microscopy (MICROSCOPY, SCANNING TUNNELING).
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Non-invasive imaging methods based on the mechanical response of an object to a vibrational or impulsive force. It is used for determining the viscoelastic properties of tissue, and thereby differentiating soft from hard inclusions in tissue such as microcalcifications, and some cancer lesions. Most techniques use ultrasound to create the images - eliciting the response with an ultrasonic radiation force and/or recording displacements of the tissue by Doppler ultrasonography.
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