Fractal dimension of K1735 mouse melanoma clones and spheroid invasion in vitro

Eur Biophys J. 2001 Dec;30(7):494-9. doi: 10.1007/s002490100173.


An in vitro tumour-host confrontation method to investigate the invasion behaviour of cancer has been applied to K1735 mouse melanomas. Fluorescently labelled spheroids of cancer cells and host cells were confronted and the temporal course of cancer invasion into the host was investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy. To improve the quantitative data of this method, the boundary images of the fluorescently labelled confrontation pairs were treated as fractals. The physical and mathematical framework for determination of the fractal capacity dimension is widely used in biology and medicine and has proved to be a very useful tool for describing the cancer invasion process. The fractal capacity dimension determination was carried out by dilation of the binary boundaries of the objects, which were treated as an estimate of the Minkowski-Bouligand dimension. The fractal dimension correlated well with the degree of invasion of the K1735-M2 clone. Control experiments, with host-host confrontations and various K1735 clones with reduced invasiveness, support these results.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Fractals
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Protein Conformation
  • Spheroids, Cellular / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured