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Spectroscopy
Volume 26, Issue 6, Pages 329-335
http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/SPE-2012-0566

Monitoring of adipogenic differentiation at the single-cell level using atomic force microscopic analysis

Young-Nam Kwon,1 Won Kon Kim,2 Sang-Hak Lee,3 Keewon Kim,1 Eun Young Kim,2 Tai Hwan Ha,4 HyoukSoo Han,1 and Kwang-Hee Bae2,5

1Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Kyung-gi, Republic of Korea
2Analytical Science Group, Medical Proteomics Research Center, KRIBB, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
3Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Immunotherapy Research Center, KRIBB, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
5Medical Proteomics Research Center, KRIBB, 50 Eon-dong, Yusung-gu, Daejeon 305-806, Republic of Korea

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Adipogenesis plays an important role in energy homeostasis by storing excess energy as lipid droplets. However, these reservoirs are implicated in a host of major human health problems, such as obesity. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying adipogenesis is thus crucial to overcome these problems. The preadipocyte cell lines represent an optimal model to examine adipogenesis. Cells differentiate into adipocytes with various speeds of conversion and fat accumulation. Here, we have presented a novel method for detecting adipogenic differentiation at the single-cell level using atomic force microscopic analysis. Data obtained with this method revealed a good correlation between membrane stiffness and the degree of adipogenic differentiation. Although we could not determine the underlying cause for membrane stiffness reduction during adipogenic differentiation, the technique clearly offers advantages over the existing detection systems, such as lipid drop staining and extraction. Furthermore, the degree of adipogenic differentiation at the single-cell level can be detected with this method.