Author Archives: Nina Recek et al.

Effect of Cold Plasma on Glial Cell Morphology Studied by Atomic Force Microscopy

by Nina Recek, Xiaoqian Cheng, Michael Keidar, Uros Cvelbar, Alenka Vesel, Miran Mozetic, Jonathan Sherman The atomic force microscope (AFM) is broadly used to study the morphology of cells. The morphological characteristics and differences of the cell membrane between normal human astrocytes and glial tumor cells are not well explored. Following treatment with cold atmospheric plasma, evaluation of the selective effect of plasma on cell viability of tumor cells is poorly understood and requires further evaluation. Using AFM we imaged morphology of glial cells before and after cold atmospheric plasma treatment. To look more closely at the effect of plasma on cell membrane, high resolution imaging was used. We report the differences between normal human astrocytes and human glioblastoma cells by considering the membrane surface details. Our data, obtained for the first time on these cells using atomic force microscopy, argue for an architectural feature on the cell membrane, i.e. brush layers, different in normal human astrocytes as compared to glioblastoma cells. The brush layer disappears from the cell membrane surface of normal E6/E7 cells and is maintained in the glioblastoma U87 cells after plasma treatment.