Real-time detection and monitoring of the drug resistance of single myeloid leukemia cells by diffused total internal reflection†
Real-time detection and monitoring of the drug resistance of single cells have important significance in clinical diagnosis and therapy. Traditional methods operate a number of times for each individual concentration, and innovation is required for the design of more simple and efficient manipulation platforms with necessary higher sensitivity. Here, we have developed a novel diffused total internal reflection (TIR) method to perform drug metabolism and cytotoxicity analysis of trapped myeloid leukemia cells. Molm-13 cells, a type of acute myeloid leukemia cell, were chosen and injected into the device and fittingly captured by cell traps. Differing from previous studies, a series of different concentrations of azelaic acid (AZA) drug could be used from 0 mM to 50 mM through convection and diffusion processes in a single chip, with each concentration region featuring 50 cells, with a total of 549 cell trapping units. Thanks to the high sensitivity of the TIR method, only cells with the same drug concentration could be illuminated in the detection process. By adjusting the incident angle, we could exactly detect and monitor the drug resistance of the cells using different drug concentrations and the experimental resolution of the drug concentration was as small as 5 mM. Images of the membrane integrity and morphology of the cells in the bright field were measured and we also monitored the cell viabilities in the dark field over 2 hours. The effects of AZA on the Molm-13 cells were explored in different concentrations at the single cell level. Compared with the results of the traditional MTT assay method, the experimental results are more simple and accurate. A cell death of 5% at an AZA concentration of 5 mM was observed after 30 minutes, while a concentration of 40 mM corresponded to a 98% cell death. The designed method in this study provides a novel toolkit to control and monitor drug resistance at the single cell level more easily with higher sensitivity and we believe it has significant potential application in single cell quality assessment and medicine analysis in clinical practice.