[Protocol] How to do cell pairing and fusion using microfluidics device
This paper describes a way to pair one cell with another cell using a Cell Trap idea. By changing the direction of fluid flow, one can trap one type of cell with another type of cell in a confined microfluidics trap.
Title: Microfluidic control of cell pairing and fusion
Alison M Skelley1,2,6, Oktay Kirak3,6, Heikyung Suh3, Rudolf Jaenisch3,4 & Joel Voldman1,2,5
Cell fusion has been used for many different purposes, including generation of hybridomas and reprogramming of somatic cells. The fusion step is the key event in initiation of these procedures. Standard fusion techniques, however, provide poor and random cell contact, leading to low yields. We present here a microfluidic device to trap and properly pair thousands of cells. Using this device, we paired different cell types, including fibroblasts, mouse embryonic stem cells and myeloma cells, achieving pairing efficiencies up to 70%. The device is compatible with both chemical and electrical fusion protocols. We observed that electrical fusion was more efficient than chemical fusion, with membrane reorganization efficiencies of up to 89%. We achieved greater than 50% properly paired and fused cells over the entire device, fivefold greater than with a commercial electrofusion chamber and observed reprogramming in hybrids between mouse embryonic stem cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts.
Research Laboratory of Electronics, 50 Vassar Street, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Microsystems Technology Laboratory, 60 Vassar Street, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
Department of Biology, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nature Methods 6, 147 - 152 (2009) Published online: 4 January 2009 | doi:10.1038/nmeth.1290