Navigation Links
UBC-led team develops platform to monitor hematopoietic stem cells

A Canadian research team has developed an automated microfluidic cell culture platform to monitor the growth, survival and responses of hundreds of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) at the single cell level.

This new tool allows scientists to study multiple temporally varying culture conditions simultaneously and to gain new insights on the growth factor requirements for HSC survival.

"The ability to perform massively parallel cultures of single non-adherent mammalian cells will provide new avenues to explore complex biological questions," says Vronique Lecault, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in the UBC Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

"Our results will find use in broader applications such as drug development, clone selection and culture optimization," says Lecault.

The findings appear in the May 22 issue of the online journal Nature Methods. The study is a collaborative project between the laboratories of Asst. Prof. Carl Hansen, UBC Physics and Astronomy, Centre for High-Throughput Biology, Prof. James Piret, UBC Chemical and Biological Engineering, Michael Smith Laboratories, Prof. Connie Eaves, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency, and Dr. Keith Humphries, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency.

Lecault explains that HSCs are found mainly in adult bone marrow and have the astounding ability to sustain the continuous production of specialized blood cells.

These cells have major clinical implications, in particular for the treatment of cancer and blood-borne diseases, but the mechanisms regulating their division into stem cells (self-renewal) or more mature cells (differentiation) are not very well understood.

The heterogeneous nature of hematopoietic populations further complicates the study of these rare HSCs by hiding individual responses into average measurements. Single cell studies are therefore critical to elucidate these mechanisms but current techniques are labour intensive, require expensive reagents and provide limited flexibility to characterize cells or exchange culture conditions.

The team designed and fabricated microfluidic devices -- about the size of a matchbox -- containing 1,600 to 6,400 miniature culture chambers that can sustain robust cell growth, along with an automated time-lapse imaging system to track clones over multiple days as they expand from single cells.

"There are many challenges associated with the culture of suspension cells in nanolitre volumes including dehydration, nutrient limitations, and rapid variations if culture conditions are not well controlled," says Lecault.

The team was able to solve these problems by integrating an osmotic bath to block evaporation combined with a unique geometry that allows for automated medium exchange, immunostaining on live clones and cell recovery.


Contact: Vronique Lecault
University of British Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Iowa State researcher develops new treatment method for canine eye diseases
2. Hypertension develops early, silently, in African-American men
3. MIT develops new way to fuse cells
4. Fujitsu Develops HDD Security Technology Based on Opal SSC Standards
5. When acute hepatitis develops into chronic hepatitis
6. MIT student develops new innovations to selectively kill cancer cells
7. CSHL team develops mouse models of leukemia that predict response to chemotherapy
8. HudsonAlpha investigator develops rapid response swine flu test
9. Carnegie Mellon develops innovative method to detect genetic causes of complex diseases
10. Epigentek Develops a New Method of Measuring Global DNA Methylation
11. GSU professor develops new method to help keep fruit, vegetables and flowers fresh
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/18/2017)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a ... prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the ... face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased ... and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, ... his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells ... and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 ... airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten ... to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface electromyography (sEMG) ... tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter phase III ...
Breaking Biology Technology: