Analyzing cell–cell interaction is essential to investigate how immune cells function. Elegant designs have been demonstrated to study lymphocytes and their interaction partners. However, these devices have been targeting cells of similar dimensions. T lymphocytes are smaller, more deformable, and more sensitive to pressure than many cells. This work aims to fill the gap of a method for pairing cells with different dimensions. The developed method uses hydrodynamic flow focusing in the z-direction for on-site modulation of effective channel height to capture smaller cells as single cells. Due to immune cells' sensitivity to pressure, the proposed method provides a stable system without any change in flow conditions at the analysis area throughout experiments. Paired live cells have their activities analyzed with calcium imaging at the immunological synapse formed under a controlled environment. The method is demonstrated with primary human T lymphocytes, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines, and primary AML blasts.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Lab on a Chip HOT Articles 2022