Document Detail

Silicon microchips for manipulating cell-cell interaction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18989439     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The role of the cellular microenvironment is recognized as crucial in determining cell fate and function in virtually all mammalian tissues from development to malignant transformation. In particular, interaction with neighboring stroma has been implicated in a plethora of biological phenomena; however, conventional techniques limit the ability to interrogate the spatial and dynamic elements of such interactions. In Micromechanical Reconfigurable Culture (RC), we employ a micromachined silicon substrate with moving parts to dynamically control cell-cell interactions through mechanical repositioning. Previously, this method has been applied to investigate intercellular communication in co-cultures of hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells, demonstrating time-dependent interactions and a limited range for soluble signaling (1). Here, we describe in detail the preparation and use of the RC system. We begin by demonstrating the handling of the device parts using tweezers, including actuating between the gap and contact configurations (cell populations separated by a narrow 80-microm gap, or in direct intimate contact). Next, we detail the process of preparing the substrates for culture, and the multi-step cell seeding process required for obtaining confluent cell monolayers. Using live microscopy, we then illustrate real-time manipulation of cells between the different possible experimental configurations. Finally, we demonstrate the steps required in order to regenerate the device surface for reuse: toluene and piranha cleaning, polystyrene coating, and oxygen plasma treatment.
Elliot E Hui; Sangeeta N Bhatia
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Video-Audio Media     Date:  2007-08-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1940-087X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Vis Exp     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-07     Completed Date:  2009-02-04     Revised Date:  2013-06-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101313252     Medline TA:  J Vis Exp     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  268     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Biology / instrumentation*
Cell Communication / physiology*
Cells, Cultured
Equipment Reuse
Grant Support
F32 DK066926-01/DK/NIDDK NIH HHS; F32 DK066926-02/DK/NIDDK NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:

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