Detection of extracellular matrix modification in cancer models with inverse spectroscopic optical coherence tomography

Graham L.C. Spicer, Samira M. Azarin, Ji Yi, Scott T. Young, Ronald Ellis, Greta M. Bauer, Lonnie D. Shea, Vadim Backman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In cancer biology, there has been a recent effort to understand tumor formation in the context of the tissue microenvironment. In particular, recent progress has explored the mechanisms behind how changes in the cell-extracellular matrix ensemble influence progression of the disease. The extensive use of in vitro tissue culture models in simulant matrix has proven effective at studying such interactions, but modalities for non-invasively quantifying aspects of these systems are scant. We present the novel application of an imaging technique, Inverse Spectroscopic Optical Coherence Tomography, for the non-destructive measurement of in vitro biological samples during matrix remodeling. Our findings indicate that the nanoscale-sensitive mass density correlation shape factor D of cancer cells increases in response to a more crosslinked matrix. We present a facile technique for the non-invasive, quantitative study of the micro- and nano-scale structure of the extracellular matrix and its host cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6892-6904
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 12 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Luay Almassalha and Yolanda Stypula-Cyrus for their help in reviewing the manuscript. This work was supported by NIH R01 CA173745 and R01 CA183101 and NSF grant CBET-1240416. STORM imaging work was performed at the Northwestern University Center for Advanced Microscopy generously supported by NCI CCSG P30 CA060553 awarded to the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


  • cancer
  • extracellular matrix
  • nanoscale
  • optical coherence tomography
  • phenotype


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