Tracking lineages of single cells in lines using a microfluidic device

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Entry by Angelo Mao, AP 225, Fall 2010

Title: Tracking lineages of single cells in lines using a microfluidic device

Authors: Amy C. Rowat, James C. Bird, Jeremy J. Agresti, Oliver J. Rando, David A. Weitz

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Volume: 106(43)

Pages: 18149-18154

Summary

Phenotypes vary down generations, but the time scale of variation in relation to cell division has not been elucidated because research platforms have been unable to isolate single cells to track their generations. The researchers created an in vitro microfluidics device that could trap single cells and observe their and their progeny's protein expression. The researchers demonstrated that the device could observe protein expression in real time, and applied this technique to three proteins that varied in expression across generations. Though the mechanisms are unclear, this research showed that phenotypic variation occurred to different degrees even in progeny of a single parent cell.

Soft Matter Keywords: microfluidics, epigenetics, in vitro

Theoretical Summary