Investigation of Cell-Cell Interactions via Compartmentalized Co-culture Platforms
Conference Recording Oct 28, 2013
About the SpeakerElliot E. Hui is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He received the bachelors degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2008, Dr. Hui joined the faculty at UC Irvine. The Hui Lab is centered around leveraging microtechnology to build tools for understanding and advancing human health. His current areas of focus include spatiotemporal effects in cell-cell signaling and microfluidic computation. He is a member of the DARPA Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus Center, the UCI Center for Complex Biological Systems, and the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
AbstractIntercellular communication is strongly dependent on the spatial organization of tissues at the micrometer scale. We present microfabricated cell culture substrates that enable fine-grained control of cell positioning, allowing the investigation of contact-dependent signaling dynamics, short-range paracrine effects, and feedback signaling. Reconfigurable comb substrates allow two cell populations to be co-cultured either in direct contact or close proximity without contact; pure populations can also be quickly recovered from the co-culture. The system was originally developed for the study of cell-cell interactions in the liver, where we discovered the importance of direct contact as well as the temporal length of contact. More recently, we have discovered short-range paracrine effects in tumor-stromal culture and ES-feeder culture. In the cancer system, this provides a platform for high-throughput profiling of effects from tumor-stromal crosstalk. In the stem cell system, this provides an unmixed feeder-layer system for maintaining pluripotency without contamination of the ES cells by the feeders.