Figure A: To test their cell adhesion system, researchers anchored single-stranded DNA to gold pads inside microfluidic chips. When the pads were washed with a mixture of DNA-coated cells, only those cells with complementary DNA adhered to the pads. Figure B: With a cell adhesion system based on matching DNA sequences, different cell types can be selectively attached to a chip surface in precise patterns.
New Technique Developed for Attaching Biological Cells to Non-Biological Surfaces
A new technique in which single strands of synthetic DNA are used to firmly fasten biological cells to non-biological surfaces has been developed by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley. This technique holds promise for a wide variety of applications, including biosensors, drug-screening technologies, the growing of artificial tissues and the design of neural networks.
“Just as DNA chips revolutionized genome analysis, we hope to make cell chips (self-assembled arrays of cells on a thumbnail-sized chip) using our DNA-based cell adhesion strategy,” said Ravi Chandra, a researcher affiliated with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and UC Berkeley’s Chemistry Department. “Cell chips could be used as biosensors for detecting the presence of pathogens, or for drug screening, just to name of a few of the many possibilities.”
Lynn Yarris | EurekAlert!
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