Using Brillouin microspectroscopy to characterize adipocytes' response to lipid droplet accumulation
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2017 SPIE. Obesity and overweight are accompanied by an enlargement of adipocytes, which is commonly related to the increasing number or size of lipid droplets within the cells. Some studies have shown that the accumulation of lipid droplets within adipocytes results in their increased stiffness. Recently, Brillouin microspectroscopy has been introduced as a nondestructive method of imaging the elasticity of cells. Unlike other imaging modalities, it is capable of assessing the elastic properties on both tissue- and cell levels. In this study, Brillouin spectroscopy was used to measure the elasticity changes in response to accumulation of lipid droplets within adipocyte during adipogenesis. The cell line used in the study is 3T3-L1, with chemically-induced differentiation from pre-adipocytes to mature adipocytes. The Brillouin shift measurements of the cells before and after differentiation indicate that the stiffness of adipocytes increases due to accumulation of lipid droplets. The results are in agreement with previous atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation studies. Brillouin microspectroscopy is a technique suitable for measuring the changes of elasticity of adipocytes in response to lipid droplet accumulation.