Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-Tumor Drugs Tested by Microfluidic Device

06.10.2010
A prototype device developed in Hong Kong will allow laboratory researchers to non-invasively test drugs for their ability to kill tumors by subjecting cancerous cells with different concentration gradients.

The new device is built upon microfluidics -- a set of technologies that allows the control and manipulation of fluids at the sub-millimeter scale -- and is described in the American Institute of Physics' journal Biomicrofluidics.

Microfluidic valves within the device, said Hongkai Wu of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, accurately meter different solutions and mix them to form a stepwise succession of gradients. Then assays measuring cell apoptosis are applied. The device integrates a previously validated analysis method that quantifies the apoptotic process at the level of single cells in real-time.

For this test, researchers measured the activity of the drug etoposide in HeLa cells. Etoposide is a commercially available anticancer compound commonly used in chemotherapy. HeLa cells, derived from human cervical cancer cells, are a line of cells frequently used in research.

The device allows researchers to study the cytotoxicity of multiple concentrations of a drug in parallel on one chip, saving both time and labor and reducing errors caused by variations in conditions often found in larger-scale testing. Also, microfluidic chambers within the device allow long-term tracking of individual cells through fluorescent microscopic imaging that offers high optical sensitivity.

With some other in vitro tests, like DNA analysis, cells need to be killed in order to be studied. In this analysis method, a change in fluorescence occurs when caspase-3, an indicator of cell apoptosis, is activated. In Wu's test, increasing concentrations of etoposide demonstrated correspondingly higher activation of caspase-3. In a control-group chip without etoposide, caspase-3 was not activated.

Wu also said that, "Unlike conventional methods, the microfluidic device permits quantitative data to be obtained from individual cells; the device requires fewer numbers of cells and allows testing of amounts of reagents reduced by about 4 orders of magnitude. In a conventional 96-well plate study, each well is around 1 centimeter, while in our microchip device, each cell chamber has a dimension of hundreds of microns. Reducing the sample size has significant merit because in most cases, the biomolecules in use are extremely expensive, even in quantities in milligrams or less."

While this report concerns a test of five ladder channels on a single chip, higher throughputs should be possible, Wu stated. "This prototype system should be useful in the areas of biology and bioengineering, especially for discovering apoptosis-inducing agents," Wu concluded.

ABOUT BIOMICROFLUIDICS
Biomicrofluidics is an online open-access journal published by the American Institute of Physics to rapidly disseminate research in elucidating fundamental physicochemical mechanisms associated with microfluidic and nanofluidic phenomena as well as novel microfluidic and nanofluidic techniques for diagnostic, medical, biological, pharmaceutical, environmental, and chemical applications. See: http://bmf.aip.org/
ABOUT AIP
The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

Jason Socrates Bardi | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>