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Microfluidic platform for the initiation and investigation of cellular interactions on a single-cell level

: Kirschbaum, M.; Jäger, M.S.; Duschl, C.


Dössel, O. ; International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine -IUPESM-:
World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2009. Vol.9: Neuroengineering, neural systems, rehabilitation and prosthetics : September 7 - 12, 2009, Munich, Germany, WC 2009; 11th international congress of the IUPESM
Berlin: Springer, 2009 (IFMBE proceedings 25/9)
ISBN: 978-3-642-03888-4
ISBN: 978-3-642-03889-1
ISBN: 978-3-642-03897-6
World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering <2009, München>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Cellular interactions as they occur in the stem cell niche or in context with leukocyte activation are effective mechanisms for the regulation of cellular states in vivo. The analysis of the underlying principles is of high clinical interest. Unfortunately, conventional applications used for addressing the related questions often pool biological data of cellular subpopulations or provide only end point analyses of signal transduction processes. This leads to blurred data or ignores important information from the dynamics of cellular behaviour, respectively. Here, we present a novel microfluidic platform for the initiation and analysis of cellular interactions on a single-cell level. We used the system to stimulate single T cells with anti-CD3/anti-CD28-presenting microbeads and analyzed the cytosolic calcium signal simultaneously. T cell activation was examined 16 - 24 h after stimulus presentation and was correlated with the previously recorded calcium signal. A signif icant difference between the calcium patterns of activated and non-activated cells was detected. This shows that the dynamics of a cellular response can provide useful information about the specific physiological state of a cell. The described technique accounts for this finding and could help to diversify our view of intercellular communication.