Chaotic oscillations in cultured cells: Rat prostate cancer

Edwin M. Posadas, Stuart R. Criley, Donald S. Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Normal prostate epithelial cells exhibit uniformity of structure, function, and DNA content. This uniformity is dramatically perturbed in cancer with the development of variance associated with tumor cell heterogeneity. The development of this kind of diversity is paralleled in models of chaotic oscillators that produce multiple pseudosteady states. We have tested prostatic cancer cells in culture for the presence of chaos by comparing the micromotion of two related rat prostate cancer cell lines that exhibited large differences in motility and metastatic potential. In these extremes of cancer cell types, our data suggest that the three criteria which characterize a chaotic oscillation are fulfilled by their cellular micromotions: (a) absence of defined regularity in the time series as evidenced using Fourier analysis and visual inspection; (b) determinism as evidenced by attractor reconstruction; and (c) sensitive dependence on initial conditions as evidenced by a positive Lyapunov exponent. Cellular motion was studied by using an electronic cell impedance sensor which records, in real time, the fluctuations in the resistive and capacitive properties of cells cultured on recording electrodes. Our data and a preliminary screen of other cell types support a model of established cell lines in culture as chaotic oscillators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3682-3688
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Chaotic oscillations in cultured cells: Rat prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this