Biomechanics of cells as potential biomarkers for diseases: A new tool in mechanobiology

Dinesh R. Katti, Kalpana S. Katti, Shahjahan Molla, Sumanta Kar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Traditionally various biochemical assays are used to evaluate the health conditions of human cells as well as for medical diagnostics. It is also known that the mechanical behavior and the true mechanics of individual cells and clusters are representative of their health. Studies in the evaluation of mechanics of single cells, and also various cellular components have indeed grown in importance due to their potential impact in medicine and human health. This article reviews two closely related techniques, namely AFM force curves and nanoindentation that are recently advanced to a level that they can play a role in understanding the biology of human diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s as well as play a role in diagnostics. This article presents these two tools as important methods of evaluating mechanobiology and their relationships to health and medicine. A detailed theory behind these techniques is presented along with a review of the use of these techniques in evaluating mechanics of human cells. This article also describes current challenges in use of the techniques and future perspectives on the applications. Next generation medical treatments and research will see a large increase in the evaluation of cell mechanics as a diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128051443
ISBN (Print)9780128048290
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Berkovich
  • Cancer
  • Elasticity
  • Hertzian
  • Indenter
  • Mechanics
  • Nanoindentation
  • Tissues
  • Young’s modulus


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