The authors behind the Angewandte Chemie paper have solved the problem with the creation of a highly selective cell adhesion system that uses single-strands of synthetic DNA to fasten the cells to a surface. This enables different types of cells to be selectively targeted and attached to specific locations on a surface based on the nucleotide sequences of the single-stranded DNA.
"We can pattern a surface with single-stranded DNA containing a specific nucleotide sequence, then coat cells with single-stranded DNA that contains a complementary sequence," said Chandra, who is a member of both the Francis and Bertozzi research groups. Francis holds a joint appointment with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and the UC Berkeley Chemistry Department, and is an expert in linking organic molecules to nanoparticles to create hybrid structures. Bertozzi, who also holds a joint appointment with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, is a leading authority on cell surface interactions. She is also a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
"Since the cells will adhere to the surface at locations where the complementary nucleotide sequences match, we can program cell adhesion events with a virtually unlimited number of possible coding options," said Chandra. "The DNA effectively serves as a molecular barcode on the surface of living cells."
Whereas the mounting of single-stranded DNA on the surface of a chip and using it as a probe to identify genetic matches is a well-established technology, this is the first time that single-stranded DNA has been attached to the surface of a biological cell. Chandra and his co-authors accomplished this feat th
Source:DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory