Institute for Molecular Engineering researchers have developed a “lab-on-a-chip” that could help us understand how single stem cells react to different molecules and environments. (Credit: Zhang et al.)
A new “lab-on-a-chip” can examine thousands of individual live cells over a weeklong period, performing experiments that would take more than 1 million steps in a laboratory.
The credit-card-sized, microfluidic device not only saves time and money, but also offers a new glimpse into how single stem cells react to different molecules and environments.
When researchers examined neural stem cells on the device and analyzed the data, they found several new rules that determine the timing and signaling sequences necessary for the cells to differentiate or renew themselves. The finding could have implications in understanding brain development or in treating patients with immunotherapy.