Cellular transfer and AFM imaging of cancer cells using Bioimprint
A technique for permanently capturing a replica impression of biological cells has been developed to facilitate analysis using nanometer resolution imaging tools, namely the atomic force microscope (AFM). The method, termed Bioimprint™, creates a permanent cell 'footprint' in a nonbiohazardous Poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) polymer composite. The transfer of nanometer scale biological information is presented as an alternative imaging technique at a resolution beyond that of optical microscopy. By transferring cell topology into a rigid medium more suited for AFM imaging, many of the limitations associated with scanning of biological specimens can be overcome. Potential for this technique is demonstrated by analyzing Bioimprint™ replicas created from human endometrial cancer cells. The high resolution transfer of this process is further detailed by imaging membrane morphological structures consistent with exocytosis. The integration of soft lithography to replicate biological materials presents an enhanced method for the study of biological systems at the nanoscale.