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Issue 15, 2012
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A microfluidic “baby machine” for cell synchronization

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Common techniques used to synchronize eukaryotic cells in the cell cycle often impose metabolic stress on the cells or physically select for size rather than age. To address these deficiencies, a minimally perturbing method known as the “baby machine” was developed previously. In the technique, suspension cells are attached to a membrane, and as the cells divide, the newborn cells are eluted to produce a synchronous population of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. However, the existing “baby machine” is only suitable for cells which can be chemically attached to a surface. Here, we present a microfluidic “baby machine” in which cells are held onto a surface by pressure differences rather than chemical attachment. As a result, our method can in principle be used to synchronize a variety of cell types, including cells which may have weak or unknown surface attachment chemistries. We validate our microfluidic “baby machine” by using it to produce a synchronous population of newborn L1210 mouse lymphocytic leukemia cells in G1 phase.

Graphical abstract: A microfluidic “baby machine” for cell synchronization

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Supplementary files

Article information

19 Mar 2012
20 Apr 2012
First published
24 Apr 2012

Lab Chip, 2012,12, 2656-2663
Article type

A microfluidic “baby machine” for cell synchronization

J. Shaw, K. Payer, S. Son, W. H. Grover and S. R. Manalis, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 2656
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40277G

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