Precision assembly of complex cellular microenvironments using holographic optical tweezers

Kirkham, G. R. et al. (2015) Precision assembly of complex cellular microenvironments using holographic optical tweezers. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 8577. (doi: 10.1038/srep08577) (PMID:25716032) (PMCID:PMC4341216)

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The accurate study of cellular microenvironments is limited by the lack of technologies that can manipulate cells in 3D at a sufficiently small length scale. The ability to build and manipulate multicellular microscopic structures will facilitate a more detailed understanding of cellular function in fields such as developmental and stem cell biology. We present a holographic optical tweezers based technology to accurately generate bespoke cellular micro-architectures. Using embryonic stem cells, 3D structures of varying geometries were created and stabilized using hydrogels and cell-cell adhesion methods. Control of chemical microenvironments was achieved by the temporal release of specific factors from polymer microparticles positioned within these constructs. Complex co-culture micro-environmental analogues were also generated to reproduce structures found within adult stem cell niches. The application of holographic optical tweezers-based micromanipulation will enable novel insights into biological microenvironments by allowing researchers to form complex architectures with sub-micron precision of cells, matrices and molecules.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibson, Dr Graham and Padgett, Professor Miles
Authors: Kirkham, G. R., Britchford, E., Upton, T., Ware, J., Gibson, G. M., Devaud, Y., Ehrbar, M., Padgett, M., Allen, S., Buttery, L. D., and Shakesheff, K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 5:8577
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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