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Inverse-power-law behavior of cellular motility reveals stromal-epithelial cell interactions in 3D co-culture by OCT fluctuation spectroscopy.

ABSTRACT: The progression of breast cancer is known to be affected by stromal cells within the local microenvironment. Here we study the effect of stromal fibroblasts on the in-place motions (motility) of mammary epithelial cells within organoids in 3D co-culture, inferred from the speckle fluctuation spectrum using optical coherence tomography (OCT). In contrast to Brownian motion, mammary cell motions exhibit an inverse power-law fluctuation spectrum. We introduce two complementary metrics for quantifying fluctuation spectra: the power-law exponent and a novel definition of the motility amplitude, both of which are signal- and position-independent. We find that the power-law exponent and motility amplitude are positively (p<0.001) and negatively (p<0.01) correlated with the density of stromal cells in 3D co-culture, respectively. We also show how the hyperspectral data can be visualized using these metrics to observe heterogeneity within organoids. This constitutes a simple and powerful tool for detecting and imaging cellular functional changes with OCT.

SUBMITTER: Oldenburg AL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4783137 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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