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New ultrasonic cell sorting technology

New ultrasonic cell sorting technology
North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers used ultrasound technology, developed a new kind of cell sorting method, compared with other methods, can reduce cell damage. The study, published online in the journal "Applied Physics Letters" on October 16.

Isolated from a mixed population of selected cells is an important process in many biomedical research (including genetic engineering, stem cells and regenerative medicine). Also developed in recent years, a variety of methods to separate the living cells, the fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and limiting dilution is the two most commonly used methods. However, these two methods are required prior to sorting the cells from the culture showed that the dissociation, and this might be that the cells produce a pressure or cause programmed cell death, especially in sensitive cells, such as stem cells and primary cells. Therefore, it is best to develop a non-pressure technology, moderate cell separation, while the cells were still attached to the culture showed.

The same time, people are constantly developed chip technology, chip on the release of micro components (micropallet) to separate the adherent cells. In this article, the research team introduced their system using ultrasonic to gently lift the micropallet chips. micropallet chip cell growth platform, but they lift off the surrounding medium has always been a challenge. Other cell sorting technology will lead to a large number of cell loss. According to reports, this new method, the average cell survival is 92%.

This system can be greatly improved chip applications. For example, a cell on the chip filled with a plurality of the patient's cancer cells, followed by a specific anti-cancer drug treatment. Inhibition of cell growth by fast and efficient detachment from the chip so that researchers will be able to understand the genetic variants associated with drug sensitivity. Ultimately, this system will become a core part of the automated lab-on-a-chip technology, continuous analysis of cells in multiple substrates, without the need for manual intervention.

Corresponding author of the article NCSU Xiaoning Jiang Associate Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. On the Road, this work comes from talking to him with a bio-engineer Nancy Allbritton. The Allbritton ask whether he can use ultrasound to safely and quickly releasing cells.

Before Allbritton's research team used a laser to separate the cells. Although this method is less than 500 m 500 m micropallet useful but moving larger micropallet required strength can cause serious injury and cell loss. Allbritton team then try to use mechanical methods. Although this technique is able to retain the cell function, but is too time consuming. Finally, the use of ultrasound, Allbritton and Jiang single block micropallet chip separation, cell average survival rate of 92%, which is a great improvement compared with 50% of the other fast technology.

However, when processing chips, the focused ultrasonic must transferred from a micropallet chip to another one. In order to improve the effectiveness of the system, the research team is to develop a chip Ultrasonic converter can focus on a single block micropallet chip.

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