Revealing stiffening and brittling of chronic myelogenous leukemia hematopoietic primary cells through their temporal response to shear stress

Phys Biol. 2016 Jun 2;13(3):03LT01. doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/13/3/03LT01.


Cancer cell transformation is often accompanied by a modification of their viscoelastic properties. When capturing the stress-to-strain response of primary chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells, from two data sets of CD34+ hematopoietic cells isolated from healthy and leukemic bone marrows, we show that the mean shear relaxation modulus increases upon cancer transformation. This stiffening of the cells comes along with local rupture events, detected as reinforced sharp local maxima of this modulus, suggesting that these cancer cells respond to a local mechanical stress by a cascade of local brittle failure events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / pathology*
  • Shear Strength*
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Time Factors