Biomechanics in health and disease:
advanced physical tools for innovative early diagnosis
H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 n. 812772


Network-wide standardisation of nano-mechanical analysis of clinical samples: case studies and diagnostic cues

Duration: months 3-44
Lead beneficiary: IFJ PAN
Objectives: the main goal of this WP is to validate and standardize network-wise the developed procedures on clinical samples, identifying those biomechanical fingerprints that correlate robustly to disease features, so to develop preliminary early-diagnostic cues.
Application of standard nano-mechanical procedures on clinical samples. Standard procedures will be applied to probe the mechanical properties of normal and cancer cells/tissue/ECMs originated initially from human lung, colon, kidney, liver, and bladder/urothelial cancers; extension of the study to other diseases (breast and prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases) will be evaluated.
This WP, and particularly the standardisation procedures, will require important collaborative efforts, networking and reach of consensus. Its successful realisation will be, thus, nourished by, and dependent on, the organised meetings and training schools described in WP7 and WP9.

Task 6.1. To verify standardisation approach, the same sample sets will be distributed to at least 5 different laboratories

to confirm the robustness and reliability of the standardisation methods.
For example, muscle invasive bladder cancer from orthotopic murine cancer will be used for standardisation of the rheological measurements among the participating groups; ECM will be purified from 20 mice bearing tumour and 20 wild type mice (same strain and same age), to monitor for i) the steady increase of stiffness in tumour bearing bladder and ii) for evaluating stiffness in healthy bladder. (Leads IBEC and OSR, CNRS, IFJPAN, UMIL, UB, all medical partners).

Task 6.2. Comparison of well-established clinical analysis (immunostaining, histological inspection, etc.) with mechanical fingerprints.

Clinical samples studied using mechanical methods will be assessed with conventional histological methods to combine structural and mechanical information, and assess the specificity of mechanics in disease. In parallel with tasks 1.8, 3.4. (Lead CNRS, OSR and all hospital partners, UB, UMIL)

Task 6.3. Establishment of a standardisation procedure to probe viscoelasticity of cells and tissues.

In line with and taking advantage of the efforts developed to standardize the determination of the Young’s modulus, a similar approach will be developed to define a standard procedure to measure viscoelastic parameters, including experimental conditions, file format for data sharing, calibration procedures... (Lead IBEC, IFJPAN, CEA-IBS, UB, O11, CNRS)

Task 6.4. Creation of a database with the mechanical fingerprints associated with specific diseases.

Mechanical fingerprints of the studied anonymised clinical samples and associated to specific diseases will be collected and stored using standard formats to allow open visualisation and reference. This database will be first open to network participants and efforts will be carried out for final openness to the scientific community (Lead INSERM, CEA-IBS, OSR, UB)