Multi-Variant Differentiation of Healthy and Cancerous White Blood Cells to Progress the Diagnosis of Leukemia
MetadataShow full item record
Every three minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with blood cancer, the most common of which being Leukemia, or the cancer of white blood cells . Distinguishing between healthy white blood cells and leukemia cells has proven to be difficult because the physical and visual similarities between the two. Unlike tumorous cancers, leukemia cells are much more difficult to distinguish and characterize in a clinical setting because of the physiologic nature of the disease. Current diagnostic methods like flow cytometry are known to be time-consuming and costly, creating a crucial need to more effectively identify white blood cells (WBCs) from leukemic cells. The purpose of this study is to use biomechanical markers to characterize the distinct properties of healthy WBC’s and the different types of leukemia. By measuring multiple biomechanical characteristics of each type of cell, each cell type will be able to be narrowed down into a cluster that is representative of the biomechanical characteristics distinctive to that cell type. As we know, it is difficult to distinguish differences in leukemic and healthy WBC’s by a factor of size alone, but adding additional biophysical parameters may lead to improved identification of the pathological condition. Our proposal intends on using four distinct biomechanical parameters to complete our analysis: size, elastic modulus, and both slow and quick viscoelastic response time constants, tau1 and tau2. It has been shown that distinct differences in these specific characteristics do exist between healthy and cancerous WBC’s [2,3], so by analyzing these parameters against each other, we hope to gain a more complete understanding of each of these cell types’ specific biomechanical blueprint for applications in clinical diagnostics.