Micropyramids to capture living cells


While pyramids are generally considered to be a grandeur construction, they are being used on micro level to capture live cells. The underlying principle is that since these micro pyramids have open walls, it is easier to living cells to interact-and easier for us to study them. This has been made possible through 3D Nano Fabrication.

Scientists of the research institutes MESA+ and MIRA of the University of Twente in The Netherlands present this new technology and first applications in the journal Small.

Most cell studies take place in 2-D: this is not a natural situation, because cells organize themselves in differently in the human body. If you give the cells room to move in three dimensions, the set-up is closer to what we find in nature. This is possible in the ‘open pyramids’ fabricated in the NanoLab of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente.

How is the pyramid being used?

If you join a number of flat silicon surfaces to form a sharp corner, it is possible to deposit another material on them. After having removed the the bulk of the material, however, a small amount of material remains in the corner. This tiny tip can be used for an Atomic Force Microscope, or, in this case, for forming a micro pyramid.

How are the cells captured?

In cooperation with UT’s MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, the nanoscientists have explored the possibilities of applying the pyramids as ‘cages’ for cells. First experiments with polystyrene balls worked out well. The next experiments involved capturing chondrocytes, cells forming cartilage. Moved by capillary fluid flow, these cells automatically ‘fall’ into the pyramid through a hole at the bottom. Soon after they settle in their 3-D cage, cells begin to interact with cells in adjacent pyramids. Changes in the phenotype of the cell can now be studied in a better way than in the usual 2-D situation. It is therefore a promising tool to be used in tissue regeneration research.

Possible Extension of the Idea

The Dutch scientists expect to develop extensions to this technology: the edges of the pyramid can be made hollow and function as fluid channels. Between the pyramids, it is also possible to create nanofluidic channels, which could be used to feed the cells.

Article: Erwin J. W. Berenschot, Narges Burouni, Bart Schurink, Joost W. van Honschoten, Remco G. P. Sanders, Roman Truckenmuller, Henri V. Jansen, Miko C. Elwenspoek, Aart A. van Apeldoorn, Niels R. Tas. 3D Nanofabrication of Fluidic Components by Corner LithographySmall, 2012

-Adeel

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InVitro Biotech-Harnessing the hidden revolution


Invitro Biotech is a online publication from InVitro Vogue-The biotech company (www.invitrovogue.com). The main principle behind this project is that:

MODERN BIOTECHNOLOGY SEEKS TO DEVELOP APPLICATIONS OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

  • It is only by understanding molecular biology applications that one can appreciate the applications and limitations of molecular biology and biotechnology.
  • Biotechnology inventions and products are changing paradigms in health care, industrial and agriculture processes.
  • Great opportunities exist for those who have the techniques, skills, and perseverance to bring new biotechnology products to market.

In lieu of this context, the target of this blog is multipurpose.

  • The blog aims to spread awareness of Biotechnology in Pakistan. The ongoing researches would be highlighted and the gap between academia and industry would be lessened.
  • Global news on biotechnology would be provided, so as to provide our local bio technologists with a better perspective.
  •  Biotechnology is an integrated venture and we intend to provide better penetration of Biotechnology in all fields.
  • Interviews from successful Bio technologists locally and abroad would be featured.

Stay tuned for further news and views from the Biotech world.

-Adeel