Fluctuations of Dry and Total Mass of Cells Exposed to Different Molecular Weights of Polyethylene Glycol.

By guest author Federico Colombo.

Federico Colombo1, Maria Villiou1,2, Fereydoon Taheri1, Leonard Fröhlich1, Mohammadreza Taale1, Viktoria Albert1, Qiyang Jiang1, Christine Selhuber-Unkel1,2.

1Institute for Molecular Systems Engineering and Advanced Materials(IMSEAM)Heidelberg UniversityIm Neuenheimer Feld 225, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germanyardiovascular Research Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

2Max Planck School Matter to LifeJahnstraße 29, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Link to publication: Fluctuations of Dry and Total Mass of Cells Exposed to Different Molecular Weights of Polyethylene Glycol

In this paper, we studied the fluctuations of the dry and total mass of cells exposed to different molecular weights of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).

Polyethylene glycol (PEG), a versatile polymer employed across medicine, food, and cosmetics, is widely used in COVID-19 vaccines, contributing to their stabilization and enhanced efficacy. Despite its widespread application, the biophysical effects of PEG on cells remain relatively unexplored. This study employs a combination of digital holographic microscopy, the inertial picobalance (Nanosurf), and micro rheology to examine how PEG influences cell stiffness, dry mass, and total mass in rat embryonic fibroblasts (REF cells).

Following exposure to PEG, the researchers observed an immediate decrease in cell dry mass and a rapid fluctuation in total cell weight. Cell stiffness significantly reduced after 48 hours, while no substantial morphological changes were detected. These findings suggest that PEG has the capacity to change and precisely regulate both cell mass and stiffness, underscoring the critical role of cell density in cellular processes. The researchers also hypothesize that these discoveries may be relevant to developing of novel PEG-based therapies and vaccines.


Picture1 MW of PEGS
1 Figure 1. Different MW of PEGs were incubated with REF cells and monitored for their total mass using the inertial picobalance. The normalized Total cell mass showed an increased mass fluctuation in cells incubated with PEGs compared to control cells.


To read more:

Determining mass of individual micron-sized particles using PicoBalance and FluidFM® probes

Application note: Performing Bio-AFM on live cells


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