Characterization of the interaction between fibroblasts and tumor cells on a microfluidic co-culture device.
ABSTRACT Fibroblasts and tumor cells have been involved in the process of cancer development, progression and therapy. Here, we present a simple microfluidic device which enables to study the interaction between fibroblasts and tumor cells by indirect contact co-culture. The device is composed of multiple cell culture chambers which are connected by a parallel of cell migration regions, and it enables to realize different types of cells to communicate each other on the single device. In this work, human embryonic lung fibroblasts cells were observed to exhibit obvious migration towards tumor cells instead of normal epithelial cells on the co-culture device. Moreover, transdifferentiation of human embryonic lung fibroblast cells was recognized by the specific expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, indicating the effect of tumor cells on the behavior of fibroblasts. Furthermore, multiple types of cell co-culture can be demonstrated on the single device which enables to mimic the complicated microenviroment in vivo. The device is simple and easy to operate, which enables to realize real-time observation of cell migration after external stimulus. This microfluidic device allows for the characterization of various cellular events on a single device sequentially, facilitating the better understanding of interaction between heterotypic cells in a more complex microenvironment.
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ABSTRACT: For decades surgeons have exploited the ability of infants to reossify large calvarial defects. To demonstrate the role of dura mater-osteoblast communication during the process of calvarial reossification, the authors used a novel in vitro system that recapitulates the in vivo anatomic relationship of these cell populations. Primary cultures of osteoblast cells from 2-day-old Sprague-Dawley rat pups were grown on six-well plates, and cultures of immature, non-suture-associated dura mater cells from 6-day-old Sprague-Dawley rat pups were grown on Transwell inserts. When the osteoblast and dura mater cell cultures reached confluence, they were combined. This Transwell co-culture system permitted the two cell populations to grow together in the same well, but it prevented direct cell-to-cell contact. Therefore, the authors were able to determine, for the first time, whether paracrine signaling from immature, non-suture-associated dura mater could influence the biologic activity of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts co-cultured with dural cells proliferated significantly faster after 2 days (2.1 x 10(5) +/- 2.4 x 10(4) versus 1.4 x 10(5) +/- 2.2 x 10(4), p < or = 0.05) and 4 days (3.1 x 10(5) +/- 5 x 10(4) versus 2.2 x 10(5) +/- 4.0 x 10(4), p < or = 0.01) than did osteoblasts cultured alone. After 20 days, co-cultured osteoblasts expressed greater amounts of mRNA for several markers of osteoblast differentiation, including collagen I alpha I (4-fold), alkaline phosphatase (2.5-fold), osteopontin (3-fold), and osteocalcin (4-fold), than did osteoblasts cultured alone. After 30 days, co-cultured osteoblasts produced bone nodules that were significantly greater both in number (324 +/- 29 nodules versus 252 +/- 29 nodules per well, p , < or = 0.04) and total area of nodules (65 +/- 11 mm(2) versus 24 +/- 1.6 mm(2), p < or = 0.003) than osteoblasts cultured alone. To begin to understand how dural cells effect changes in osteoblast gene expression, the authors compared the expression of candidate genes, transforming growth factor beta 1 and fibroblast growth factor 2, in dural cells and osteoblasts before and after 5 days of culture. Interestingly, the dura mater produced marked amounts of these osteogenic cytokines compared with osteoblasts.The described co-culture system demonstrated that co-cultured osteoblasts proliferated more rapidly and experienced an increased rate and degree of cellular maturation than did osteoblasts cultured alone. The authors hypothesize that this effect was due to paracrine signaling (e.g., transforming growth factor beta 1 and fibroblast growth factor 2) from the dura mater, and they are investigating those mechanisms in ongoing experiments. Collectively these data verify that immature, non-suture-associated dura mater can influence the biologic activity of osteoblasts. Moreover, the production of cytokines derived from the dura mater (e.g., transforming growth factor beta 1 and fibroblast growth factor 2), and they may begin to explain why immature animals and infants with intact dura mater can reossify large calvarial defects.Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 02/2002; 109(2):631-42; discussion 643-4. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Microfluidic devices are finding increasing application as analytical systems, biomedical devices, tools for chemistry and biochemistry, and systems for fundamental research. Conventional methods of fabricating microfluidic devices have centered on etching in glass and silicon. Fabrication of microfluidic devices in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) by soft lithography provides faster, less expensive routes than these conventional methods to devices that handle aqueous solutions. These soft-lithographic methods are based on rapid prototyping and replica molding and are more accessible to chemists and biologists working under benchtop conditions than are the microelectronics-derived methods because, in soft lithography, devices do not need to be fabricated in a cleanroom. This paper describes devices fabricated in PDMS for separations, patterning of biological and nonbiological material, and components for integrated systems.Electrophoresis 02/2000; 21(1):27-40. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper describes the generation of gradients having complex shapes in solution using microfluidic networks. Flowing multiple streams of fluid each carrying different concentrations of substances laminarly and side-by-side generated step concentration gradients perpendicular to the direction of the flow. Appropriately designed networks of microchannels for controlled diffusive mixing of substances generated a range of shapes for the gradients, including linear, parabolic, and periodic. The lateral dimensions of the gradients ranged from 900 to 2200 μm. This paper also demonstrates the generation of overlapping gradients composed of different species. Since solutions in the microfluidic network exist as steady states and are continuously renewed, the gradients established in the capillaries are spatially and temporally constant and can be maintained easily for periods of hours. Using laminar flow to generate gradients should be useful in both biological and nonbiological research.Analytical Chemistry - ANAL CHEM. 02/2001; 73(6).