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Issue 12, 2008
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Live cell lithography: Using optical tweezers to create synthetic tissue

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Abstract

We demonstrate a new method for creating synthetic tissue that has the potential to capture the three-dimensional (3D) complexity of a multi-cellular organism with submicron precision. Using multiple laminar fluid flows in a microfluidic network, we convey cells to an assembly area where multiple, time-shared optical tweezers are used to organize them into a complex array. The cells are then encapsulated in a 30 μm × 30 μm × 45 μm volume of photopolymerizable hydrogel that mimicks an extra-cellular matrix. To extend the size, shape and constituency of the array without loss of viability, we then step to an adjacent location while maintaining registration with the reference array, and repeat the process. Using this step-and-repeat method, we formed a heterogeneous array of E. coli genetically engineered with a lac switch that is functionally linked to fluorescence reporters. We then induced the array using ligands through a microfluidic network and followed the space-time development of the fluorescence to evaluate viability and metabolic activity.

Graphical abstract: Live cell lithography: Using optical tweezers to create synthetic tissue

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 May 2008, accepted on 19 Aug 2008 and first published on 01 Oct 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B807987K
Lab Chip, 2008,8, 2174-2181

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    Live cell lithography: Using optical tweezers to create synthetic tissue

    U. Mirsaidov, J. Scrimgeour, W. Timp, K. Beck, M. Mir, P. Matsudaira and G. Timp, Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 2174
    DOI: 10.1039/B807987K

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