Developments of microwave microscopy for application to biological samples


In this work, Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM) is applied to breast cancer cells MCF-7 treated by fullerene (C60), in order to provide simultaneous topographic and electromagnetic characterization of sample surface. The exceptional properties of fullerene, like its lipophilicity and its ability to be functionalized with proteins and nucleic acids, make its use very promising for drug delivery and anticancer action. Moreover, it could be applied as a marker for cancer cells, or target for further treatment, as it is able to penetrate the cell membrane. Calibration of SMM data is necessary in order to isolate the probe-sample interaction, and to possibly disentangle the topography from the electromagnetic response of the sample. These aspects are discussed in the paper. Use of microwave microscopy could be crucial to investigate the effects of fullerene treatment, and could enable, in the future, deep imaging of its penetration inside the cells.


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