Study the Sub-nanometer Membrane Fluctuations in Single Cells Using a Plasmonic Imaging Microscope



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Plasma membrane of live cells undergo active membrane fluctuations. Scrupulous study of single cell membrane fluctuations can provide better insight into the physiological processes like metabolism, mitosis and cell motility which are very important while developing drug assays for diseases like cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to study the localized membrane fluctuations which pose a technical challenge due to their small yet swift movement. Here, a plasmonic microscope has been used to study membrane fluctuations in HeLa cancer cells. Sub-nanometer level membrane movement has been imaged with a spatial resolution of 0.5 μm in real time. A study of membrane fluctuation amplitude is made to discuss about active membrane movement, cell heterogeneity and interdependence of different cell regions within a single cell. These results could be helpful to study the cell’s mechanoresponse, its viscoelastic properties and analyze the activity of biomarkers when cancer cells are exposed to different drug treatments.



Single Cancer Cells, Plasmonic Imaging, Sub-nanometer Membrane Fluctuations, Cell Heterogeneity, Cell Metastasis