Written on Aug, 26, 2020 by in , ,

“Fluidics” is the information extracted from bodily fluids and the understanding of liquids or fluids using small diameter volumes. Hippocrates (400 BC), Galen (200 AD) and Theophilus (700 AD) were interested in analyzing urine samples — to understand the human body and its functions (1). They compared and analyzed urine color, corresponding to patients’ symptoms. About 1000 years later, scientists worked on the behavior of fluids using glass containers with small volume and diameters.

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Written on Jul, 08, 2020 by in ,
TempoATP – a snapshot

Genetically encoded biosensors have become popular and powerful LIVE-cell reporters in recent years (see reference here). These biosensors can be incorporated into a variety of human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived cell types (such as neurons, glial cells, kidney cells, and cardiomyocytes, just to name a few). Previously, we discussed the biosensors and how they are used in research (here). TempoATP biosensor (image shown above) is a LIVE-cell reporter that tracks intracellular ATP levels in real time (from seconds to hours).

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Written on Jun, 09, 2020 by in , ,

Spheroids have been used in cell culture for decades. In the 1980s, different types of human cancer cells –normally grown as monolayers or suspension cultures–were tested for their innate abilities to form and grow as spheroids in vitro (1). 16 out of 27 tested tumor cell lines successfully formed spheroids (1). In the tumor cells study, scientists also observed that all large spheroids had necrotic centers but their shapes varied. Another study used V79 hamster cells (V79 379A), a human small cell carcinoma of the lung (ME/MAR) and 2 xenographed human melanomas (HX117 and HX118) in spheroids cultures in the 1980s (2). In the study, the effects on spheroid growth due to radiation treatments were measured and evaluated (2).

Widely acknowledged is the unique ability of spheroids to mimic natural cell responses and interactions. Cells in 3D are more representative of their native conditions than the traditional 2D monolayer culturing conditions (e.g., cell-to-cell interactions, drug-induced responses, and cells-to-environment responses). Furthermore, the multicellular arrangement allows different cell types to interact with each other within each spheroid. Past studies examined growth rates, hypoxic conditions, and other survival conditions for the spheroids (1-2). Currently, many cell culture reagents and instruments are available to enable spheroid cultures, making the technique increasingly accessible, flexible and approachable for scientists in a variety of research fields. (Unlock your creative minds!)


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