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Issue 17, 2011
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Single cell 3-D platform to study ligand mobility in cell–cell contact

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Lateral mobility and dimensionality have both been shown to influence cellular behavior, but have yet to be combined and applied in a single in vitro platform to address, e.g., cell adhesion in a setting mimicking the three-dimensional environment of neighboring cells in a reductionist way. To study the effect of the lateral mobility of cell adhesive ligands in three dimensions we present and characterize a platform, which enables patterning of single cells into microwells presenting a cell membrane mimetic interface pre-patterned to its walls. Soluble E-cadherin extracellular domains coupled through an optimized streptavidin–antibody linkage to lipids in a supported lipid bilayer (SPB) were presented on the microwell walls as either laterally mobile or immobile ligands. The fluidity was controlled through a small change in temperature by choosing phospholipids for the SPB with a lipid phase transition temperature around 30 °C. The platform thus enabled the investigation of cell adhesion to either laterally immobile or mobile E-cadherin ligands presented on the same cell membrane mimetic surface. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells engineered to express E-cadherin that were cultured on the platform demonstrated that enhanced cadherin lateral mobility significantly decreased the formation of actin bundles and resulted in more diffuse actin organization, while constraining the cell shape to that of the microwell. This example highlights the potential to use in vitrocell culture platforms to mimic direct cell–cell interaction in a controlled environment that nevertheless captures the dynamic nature of the native cell environment.

Graphical abstract: Single cell 3-D platform to study ligand mobility in cell–cell contact

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Jan 2011, accepted on 20 Jun 2011 and first published on 20 Jul 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20067D
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 2876-2883
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    Single cell 3-D platform to study ligand mobility in cell–cell contact

    M. Andreasson-Ochsner, G. Romano, M. Håkanson, M. L. Smith, D. E. Leckband, M. Textor and E. Reimhult, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 2876
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20067D

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