Over the past several decades, researchers have focused on developing diagnostic techniques to correlate disease state to a wide range of chemical and biological biomarkers such as antibodies, antigens, and genetic indicators[1]. While numerous nanotechnologies have been successfully invented, they all hinge on the accuracy of the underlying assumption: the presence of the biochemical or genetic indicator is an accurate predictor of disease. Recent results in the field of oncology imply that this causal relationship may not be at the molecular level, or, at least, it may not be limited to the molecular level. Specifically, researchers have found that cancer and cancer growth can be influenced by the mechanical and physical environment that surrounds the tumor[2, 3]. This information is not captured in the previously detected biomarkers and thus, this missing information may shed light on why tumors with very similar molecular profiles can have very different progressions. However, to reveal this information, it is necessary to measure the mechanical properties of the microenvironment around the tumor with micronscale precision.

© 2019 IEEE

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