Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) systems have registered tremendous progress over the past 20 years. Myriad "chip" schemes have already emerged, ranging from the lung-on-a-chip and heart-on-a-chip to the liver-on-a-chip and kidney-on-a-chip.
However, an ideal embryo-on-a-chip has not yet been developed due to challenges in condensing so many life factors inside a conventional LOC.
But now two scientists in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, part of the School of Medicine, at Tsinghua University in Beijing, have developed a PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) "soft" process method to fabricate a transparent shell matching the shape and curvature of a real eggshell. Professor Liu Jing and graduate student Lai Yiyu present their advance toward creating an embryo lab on a chip in a just-released study, "Transparent soft PDMS eggshell," published in the Beijing-based journal SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences.
The most important feature of a conventional "Lab-on-a-chip" is its chemically based character, or its scaling down chemical tests into a miniature-size device.
In contrast, the newly proposed "egg-on-a-chip" is biologically based, aimed at scaling down a biological system into a miniature device. This platform contains more condensed evolutional tensors than its chemistry-based forerunners.
The biomimics system created by the two co-authors of the study significantly extended the length of the embryo culturing time. They explained in the new paper that PDMS is among the best biomaterials for many applications, and that multiple techniques could be integrated together in the new system.
PDMS likewise offers an excellent platform for in vivo fluorescent imaging studies via microscopes.
This reconstructed 3D image information offers an excellent in vivo fluorescent platform for biologists and clinical scientists.
In experiments carried out over the course of about two years, they constructed a series of transparent PDMS whole "eggshells" to successfully culture avian embryos for up to 17.5 days; and chimeric eggshells were engineered on normal eggs.
X-stage embryos were successfully initiated in these artificial egg structures and pre-chorioallantoic membranes were observed.
Their biomimetic shells, combining high optical transparency and subtle engineering, represent a new platform to study functional embryo development.
The experiments and advances led by these Beijing-based scientists can be replicated in other labs.
PDMS, they noted in the study, has emerged as one of the best biocompatible materials over the course of decades, and has already been used clinically, which underscore the safety and wide applications of the present method.
The authors also present forecasts on the future of their technology.
Practical applications are likely to include the injection of blood or any body fluidic specimens into this "egg-on-a-chip" for early diagnosis. This is because an egg has the potential to function as an amplification system.
While the amount of the final sample (blood, cell or tissue) could be significantly amplified, rare variations already pre-screened by a biological system could generate more reliable results.
This is a natural, biologically based diagnostic tool that could surpass most comparable technologies currently in use. At the same time, rare gene variations cultured in an egg could replace more tedious and expensive laboratory procedures. This points to the real "practical robustness" that an "egg-on-a-chip" could offer.
This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51376102).
See the article: Lai Y Y, Liu J. Transparent soft PDMS eggshell. SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, 2015, doi: 10.1007/s11431-014-5737-4
SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences is part of Science China Press, a leading publisher of scientific journals in China that operates under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Science China Press presents to the world leading-edge advancements made by Chinese scientists across a spectrum of fields.
Liu Jing | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy