Thursday, 26 December 2019

Dancing Cells

Dancing Cells

Music pulls some folks, to the dance floor, the new research sound can now be used to pull some cells loose from their substrate while other cells stay put. Cells attach and release from the extracellular matrix and from each other for a variety of physiological reasons. But existing methods to measure the intensity and kinetics of these interactions either lack precision or are exceptionally laborious explains molecular biophysicist Gijs White of Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

While thinking of ways to achieve both accuracy and high throughput, White says, he saw a movie showing microscopic organisms being manipulated with sound waves. He wondered whether such acoustic forces could also be used to explore cellular and molecular interactions. So White and colleagues developed single-cell acoustic force spectroscopy (scAFS), which uses acoustic waves to test whether cells have adhered to a given substrate (cells or molecules) and if so, how firmly. Cells are introduced into a buffer filled, microscope mounted microfluidic chamber, the bottom of which is coated with a substrate and is in the focal plane of the microscope. When cells have settled, an amplifier creates an acoustic standing wave in the entire chamber.

Boundless Cells to the substrate rise up to the sound wave’s nodal plane where the wave’s force is at its appear blurry and minimum as they leave the focal plane. Increasing the amplitude of the acoustic wave exerts a greater force, detaching loosely bound cells first and thereby revealing the strength of the different cells’ interactions with the substrate.

Acoustic standing wave fills produced by piezo the single
cell acoustic force spectroscopy (scAFS) chamber, forcing boundless cells to
move up to the wave’s nodal plane and out of the microscope’s focal plane.

White and colleagues have used scAFS to analyze interactions between T cells and fibronectin, an extracellular matrix protein. Such interactions, when they occur along allow T cells to slow, blood vessel walls, stop and exit the vessel into neighboring tissue. This principle experiment proof, the researchers showed that the T cells’ activation led to faster fibronectin binding, while the cells’ adhesive strength, once they were attached to the protein, remained the same after activation.

Bruce Drinkwater says that “This device is particularly nice as it can make these measurements on many cells simultaneously,” an ultrasonic engineer at Bristol University in the UK who was not involved in the study. It also says that quite a platform for general-purpose that I think can be used in a multitude of ways.

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