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Stem Cells and Silicon

Our bodies are not 2-Dimensional.  Our cells don’t grow on flat plates. Various technologies have been used over the years to culture cells in 3-D Conditions.  Those 3-D conditions have now been applied to stem cells, creating “mini-organs”. Harvard explored combining stem cells and chip technology in early 2014 examining cardiovascular disease (Nature Published Article).

Kyoto University has furthered the 3-D culturing technology with a thermoresponsive gel.  The microfluidic chip combined with the thermoresponsive gel creates a microenvironment for cells to grow in a 3-D with specific temperature and environment control.

This technology can help to grow increased functional cells resulting in more reliable data about cells, gene expression, drug screening, and various other applications.

 

Sources:

http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/making-stem-cells-on-a-chip-a-reality/81253692

http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/patient-stem-cells-used-make-%E2%80%98heart-disease-chip%E2%80%99

http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v12/n7/full/nmeth.3411.html

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v20/n6/full/nm.3545.html

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