## Abstract

The rigidity of the extracellular matrix and of the integrin links to the cytoskeleton regulates signaling cascades, controlling critical aspects of cancer progression including metastasis and angiogenesis. We demonstrate that the matrix stiffness can be monitored using magnetic spectroscopy of nanoparticle Brownian motion (MSB). We measured the MSB signal from nanoparticles bound to large dextran polymers. The number of glutaraldehyde induced cross-links was used as a surrogate for material stiffness. There was a highly statistically significant change in the MSB signal with the number of cross-links especially prominent at higher frequencies. The p-values were all highly significant. We conclude that the MSB signal can be used to identify and monitor changes in the stiffness of the local matrix to which the nanoparticles are bound.

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