Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 26(10), 1033 (2010).

AFM Studies of Cellular Mechanics during Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Amniotic Fluid-derived Stem Cells
Qian CHEN,* Pan XIAO,** Jia-Nan CHEN,* Ji-Ye CAI,* Xiao-Fang CAI,* Hui DING,** and Yun-Long PAN**
*Department of Chemistry, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, P. R. China
**The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, P. R. China
Amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (AFSCs) are becoming an important source of cells for regenerative medicine given with apparent advantages of accessibility, renewal capacity and multipotentiality. In this study, the mechanical properties of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (hAFSCs), such as the average Young’s modulus, were determined by atomic force microscopy (3.97 ± 0.53 kPa for hAFSCs vs. 1.52 ± 0.63 kPa for fully differentiated osteoblasts). These differences in cell elasticity result primarily from differential actin cytoskeleton organization in these two cell types. Furthermore, ultrastructures, nanostructural details on the surface of cell, were visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was clearly shown that surface of osteoblasts were covered by mineralized particles, and the histogram of particles size showed that most of the particles on the surface of osteoblasts distributed from 200 to 400 nm in diameter, while the diameter of hAFSCs particles ranged from 100 to 200 nm. In contrast, there were some dips on the surface of hAFSCs, and particles were smaller than that of osteoblasts. Additionally, as osteogenic differentiation of hAFSCs progressed, more and more stress fibers were replaced by a thinner actin network which is characteristic of mature osteoblasts. These results can improve our understanding of the mechanical properties of hAFSCs during osteogenic differentiation. AFM can be used as a powerful tool for detecting ultrastructures and mechanical properties.