The group will conduct studies involving various kinds of cell perturbation, observing metabolic responses to these interventions and compiling written and graphical procedures to facilitate an understanding of the data. Such stimulus-response experiments could include exposing cells to biochemical agents, an infection, a temporal cue, a drug, or any other type of perturbation.
The Cellarium system can also be applied to a wide range of cell types, including normal, metaplastic, dysplastic, and cancerous cells. While the initial version of the Cellarium will measure oxygen consumption, pH, ATP, and glucose, future work will be aimed at developing new sensors capable of measuring many additional cell parameters.
Providing the proper conditions for the study of individual cells is tricky. The Cellarium relies on environmentally controlled chambers in arrays outfitted with optical sensors capable of being scanned to reveal key parameters over time. To accomplish this, shallow microwellseach with a capacity of about 150 picoliterswill provide protection for the cells under study, which are then sealed in the microwell.
The analytes under consideration can then be studied using extracellular fluorescent sensors capable of multiparameter detection of metabolic processes. The microwells of the Cellarium are each able to hold 1 or more cells, on an array containing thousands of these wells. Once the Cellarium is fully developed by the end of 2012, it should be able to carry out multiparameter dynamic measurements on thousands of cells per run.
Figure 1 outlines the Cellarium process. First, cells are seeded into microwells and incubated under normal culture conditions. (Prior to incubation, various perturbagens may be introduced.) By compressing the aligned sensor array and cell microwell array together,
|Contact: Joseph Caspermeyer|
Arizona State University