Solid, liquid or gas? Techniques quickly identify the physical condition of tissues and tumors

As a person grows older, his mood changes. In the early stages, the embryo is fluid-like, allowing cells to divide and proliferate. As it matures, its tissues and organs remain intact. In some species, this may indicate the physical condition of an organ, even its stage of development and overall health.

Now, MIT researchers have found that tissue organization serves as a “fingerprint” for tissue. They quickly identified the cells in the tissue to determine if the tissue looked like solid, liquid, or gas. Their findings this week include Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team hopes that their “design fingerprint” technique will help scientists monitor changes in the fetus as it develops. More quickly, they are studying their technique and eventually using it to diagnose a specific type of tissue-tumor.

There is evidence that in cancer, like in the fetus, the condition of the tumor may indicate the stage of development. Very strong tumors may be relatively stable, but many fluid-like growths are more susceptible to mutation and metastasis.

MIT researchers are examining images of tumors that have grown in the laboratory and biopsy patients to identify cellular fingerprints that look like solid, liquid, or gas. Doctors think that one day the image of the tumor cells will be corrected with cellular fingerprints to determine the tumor level and determine the progression of the cancer.

“Our method makes it easier to diagnose cancer,” said Ming Goo, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. “We hope that by looking at the location of the cells, doctors can tell directly that the tumor is very strong, which means it cannot be transplanted into the body yet, or if it is more fluid and the patient is at risk.

Guo’s co-authors are Haiqian Yang, Yulong Han, Wenhui Tang and Rohan Abeyaratne from MIT, Adrian Pegorroro of the University of Ottawa, and Dapp B University of Northeast University.

Triangle sequence

In absolute solids, the individual elements of a material are organized in a neat order, such as atoms in a cube crystal. If you cut a piece of crystal and place it on a table, you can connect the atoms in a reciprocal triangle. In perfect strength, the spacing between the atoms is exactly the same, so the connecting triangles usually have the same shape.

Guo used this construction as a model for a really strong structure, with the idea that it could be used as a reference for comparing cell structures, with less-than-perfect-strong tissues and tumors.

“Real tissues are never obedient,” says Goo. “Most of them are in turmoil. But still, there are minor differences in how confused they are.

Following this idea, the team started using different tissue images and used software to model the three-dimensional connections between tissue cells. In contrast to the equations in a perfectly solid triangle, the maps produce triangles of different shapes and sizes, indicating cells with different spatial order (and distortion).

For each triangle in the image, measure two key parameters: volume sequence or space in a triangle; And the order of cutting, or how far the triangular shape is from the relative position. The first measurement is the variability of the material density, and the second is the degree to which the material is prone to damage. These two criteria were sufficient to determine whether the tissue was solid, liquid, or gaseous.

“We are directly calculating the true value of both values, comparing them to the strongest ones and using those exact values ​​as our fingerprints,” Guo explains.

Steam rods

The team tested the new fingerprint method in a variety of ways. The first is the simulation of the fusion of two types of molecules, and their focus is gradually increasing. For each focus, they set the molecules into a triangle and measure two dimensions of each triangle. From these parameters, they identify the molecular level and are able to reproduce the transition between the expected gas, liquid and solid.

“People know what to expect in this very simple system, and that’s exactly what we see,” Guo says. “This demonstrates the potential of our method.”

The researchers began to apply their method to systems in cells rather than molecules. For example, they looked at videos by other researchers about the growing fruit flies. By applying their method, you can identify areas that have moved from solid to liquid in the growing wing.

“As a liquid, this can help with growth,” Guo says. “How exactly this is happening is still under investigation.”

He and his team observed small tumors grow in human breast tissue and the tumors grow as attachment tumors – early metastasis symptoms. When mapping the cell structures in the tumor, the malignant tumors look like something between a solid and a fluid, and the invasive tumors look more like gas, and the tendons become more chaotic.

“Invading tumors were like vapor, and they want to spread everywhere,” says Guo. “Fluids cannot be easily compressed. But gases are compressed – they can easily swell and shrink, and that’s what we see here.

The team is working on sampling human cancer biopsy samples to improve and analyze their mobile fingerprints. Eventually, GOO thinks that tissue grafting may be the fastest and most invasive way to diagnose many types of cancer.

“Doctors usually have to take a biopsy, and then they have to be infected for different markers, depending on the type of cancer,” Guo says. “Maybe one day we will use optical equipment to look inside the body without touching the patient, to see the position of the cells and to tell a patient directly what stage of the cancer is.”

This study was partially developed by the National Institutes of Health, MathWorks and Jepta H. And Emily V. The Wade Award is sponsored by MIT.

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