Chin. Phys. Lett.  2020, Vol. 37 Issue (7): 078701    DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/37/7/078701
Quasi-Two-Dimensional Diffusion in Adherent Cells Revealed by Three-Dimensional Single Quantum Dot Tracking
Chao Jiang1,2, Bo Li1, Shuo-Xing Dou1,2, Peng-Ye Wang1,2,3*, and Hui Li1,4*
1Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Laboratory of Soft Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2School of Physical Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory, Dongguan 523808, China
4School of Systems Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Chao Jiang, Bo Li, Shuo-Xing Dou et al  2020 Chin. Phys. Lett. 37 078701
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Abstract Intracellular diffusion is critical for molecule translocation in cytoplasm and mediates many important cellular processes. Meanwhile, the diffusion dynamics is affected by the heterogeneous cytoplasm. Previous studies on intracellular diffusion are mainly based on two-dimensional (2D) measurements under the assumption that the three-dimensional (3D) diffusion is isotropic. However, the real behaviors of 3D diffusion of molecules in cytoplasm are still unclear. Here, we have built a 3D single-particle tracking (SPT) microscopy and studied the 3D diffusion of quantum dots (QDs) in adherent A549 cells. Notably, we found that the intracellular diffusion of QDs is quasi-2D, with the axial motion being severely confined. Further investigations demonstrated that disrupting the cytoskeleton component or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) does not alter the quasi-2D diffusion pattern, although ER reduces the diffusion rates and slightly relieves the constraint in the axial diffusion. The preferred quasi-2D diffusion is quite robust and attributed to the complex cytoarchitectures in the flat adherent cells. With the aid of 3D SPT method, the quasi-2D diffusion in cells was revealed, shedding new light on the physical nature of cytoplasm.
Received: 02 June 2020      Published: 12 June 2020
PACS:  87.15.A–  
  66.30.Lw (Diffusion of other defects)  
  87.16.Wd (Intracellular trafficking)  
Fund: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11674383, 11874415, 21991133, and 11774407), the National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2016YFA0301500), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS (Grant No. 2019006), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2019NTST26).
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Chao Jiang
Bo Li
Shuo-Xing Dou
Peng-Ye Wang
and Hui Li
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