Nature Nanotechnology publishes Micronaut cover art

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Cancer initiation and progression are characterized by complex molecular and structural changes in cells and the extracellular matrix. These changes are expected to affect the mechanical properties and responses of cells and their surrounding environment. The atomic force microscope (AFM) has been used to show that cancer cells are more compliant than healthy cells. However, the relevance of these single-cell measurements performed on cells isolated from tumours has been questioned because they lack the appropriate 3D tissue environment.


About the cover: Marija Plodinec et al. have used an indentation-type AFM for the nanomechanical characterization and diagnosis of breast cancer progression. This is illustrated on the cover image that shows an AFM tip probing an invasive cancer cell that is protruding above a malignant matrix-embedded cluster. Credits: E. Bieler, M. Plodinec, R. Lim (SEM), Micronaut (Artwork), 2013.


Further reading: The Nanomechanical Signature of Breast Cancer, Marija Plodinec et al., Nature Nanotechnology Vol 7, Nr 11, Nov 2012.