Novel Method to Obtain Contact Angles of Tumor Biopsies




0000-0002-8287-0143 (Kastellorizios, Michail)

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American Chemical Society


Characterizing the strength of a solid-liquid interface can be done by depositing a single drop of liquid on a planar solid surface and measuring the angle of the formed semicircle, called the contact angle. The contact angle of pure water is indicative of a surface's hydrophobicity and is a useful metric in biomedical applications such as tissue scaffolding and drug/tissue interactions. However, the roughness and inhomogeneity of most biological surfaces make obtaining accurate contact angles of such materials challenging. Here, we developed an instrument and methodology to obtain contact angles of tissue sections. Breast cancer tumor and nearby healthy tissue sections were used as the model biological surface. The custom instrument was built on existing equipment by improving drop dispensing accuracy in the nanoliter range, an XYZ stage, additional side view cameras, and microscope-based sample visualization. The method takes into account the inherent surface inhomogeneity and topology of tissue and the required method of illumination for contact angle acquisition. As such, the system uses an inverted microscope with a high sensitivity camera, an XYZ stage for accurate droplet placement on tissue, and multiple cameras to obtain contact angles around the entire perimeter of the drop. We tested the system with breast cancer biopsies and adjacent normal tissue from 75 patients and report here a trend of tumor exhibiting higher water contact angles, and thus higher hydrophobicity, compared to their respective normal adjacent tissue. The system described here can be used to characterize any type of biological tissue, which can be sectioned, with any liquid including water or solutions with dissolved or suspended therapeutic molecules and particles.



Rincon, J., & Kastellorizios, M. (2023). Novel Method to Obtain Contact Angles of Tumor Biopsies. ACS omega, 8(30), 26965-26972.