Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fusing Embryonic Stem Cells With Adult Cells Using Highly Efficient New Fusing System

Date:
January 5, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Engineers have developed a new, highly efficient way to pair up cells so they can be fused together into a hybrid cell. The new technique should make it much easier for scientists to study what happens when two cells are combined. For example, fusing an adult cell and an embryonic stem cell allows researchers to study the genetic reprogramming that occurs in such hybrids.

MIT researchers use this microchip to trap and fuse pairs of cells.
Credit: Image / Alison Skelley

MIT engineers have developed a new, highly efficient way to pair up cells so they can be fused together into a hybrid cell.

Related Articles


The new technique should make it much easier for scientists to study what happens when two cells are combined. For example, fusing an adult cell and an embryonic stem cell allows researchers to study the genetic reprogramming that occurs in such hybrids.

The researchers, led by a collaboration between Joel Voldman, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Rudolf Jaenisch, professor of biology and a member of the Whitehead Institute, report the new technique in the Jan. 4 online edition of Nature Methods.

The work was spearheaded by two postdoctoral associates, Alison Skelley, who worked in Voldman's lab, and Oktay Kirak, who works with Jaenisch. Skelley and Kirak are lead authors of the Nature Methods paper. Heikyung Suh, a technical associate in the Whitehead Institute, is also an author of the paper.

The team's simple but ingenious sorting method increases the rate of successful cell fusion from around 10 percent to about 50 percent, and allows thousands of cell pairings at once.

Though cell fusion techniques have been around for a long time, there are many technical limitations, said Voldman.

Getting the right cells to pair up before fusing them is one major obstacle. If scientists are working with a mixture of two cell types, for example A and B, they end up with many AA and BB pairings, as well as the desired AB match.

Researchers had previously trapped cells in tiny cups as they flow across a chip. Each cup can hold only two cells, but there is no way to control whether the cups capture an A and a B, two As or two Bs.

In contrast, the cell-trapping cups on Voldman and Jaenisch's new sorting device are arranged strategically to capture and pair up cells of different types.

First, type A cells are flowed across the chip in one direction and caught in traps that are large enough to hold only one cell. Once the cells are trapped, liquid is flowed across the chip in the opposite direction, pushing the cells out of the small cups and into larger cups across from the small ones.

Once one A cell is in each large cup, type B cells are flowed into the large cups. Each cup can only hold two cells, so each ends up with one A and one B. After the cells are paired in the traps, they can be joined together by an electric pulse that fuses the cell membranes.

In addition to helping with studies of stem cell reprogramming, this technique could be used to study interactions between any types of cells. "It's a very general type of device," said Voldman.

The research was funded by NASA and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Fusing Embryonic Stem Cells With Adult Cells Using Highly Efficient New Fusing System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090104164204.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2009, January 5). Fusing Embryonic Stem Cells With Adult Cells Using Highly Efficient New Fusing System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090104164204.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Fusing Embryonic Stem Cells With Adult Cells Using Highly Efficient New Fusing System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090104164204.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Ways To Celebrate National Nutrition Month

The Best Ways To Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Buzz60 (Mar. 2, 2015) Just when your New Year&apos;s Resolution is losing steam, March comes with fresh inspiration. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has some tips to incorporate into your lifestyle during National Nutrition Month. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: 1.1 Billion At Risk Of Hearing Loss, Will They Listen?

WHO: 1.1 Billion At Risk Of Hearing Loss, Will They Listen?

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss. Can this staggering number change things? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) A rehabilitation robot prototype to help restore deteriorated nerves and muscles using electromyography and computer games. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins