275216 Cell Communication in Three Dimensional Microenvironments

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Matthew Byrne1, Lisa Trump2, Amit V. Desai3, Lauretta A. Rund4, Lawrence B. Schook5 and Paul J. A. Kenis1, (1)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL, (2)Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, (3)Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, (4)Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, (5)Laboratory of Comparative Genomics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

The ability of cells to signal one another is an important aspect in tissue function, activation of immune functions, and other bodily functions.  Long range cell communication occurs via paracrine and endocrine signaling factors. Understanding how different cell types communicate in response to pathogens or neighboring cells is essential for developing new therapies and drugs. Additionally, cellular communication networks hold information for understanding cancer and disease states, and can help lead to effective culture and modulation of cell and stem cell maintenance and function.

The goal of this work is to co culture an engineered model system in a microfluidic device.  This model system allows for real time monitoring of cellular communication via fluorescent reporter systems.  Lipopolysaccharide released by E. coli stimulates mouse macrophage (RAW) cells, which then secrete TNFα. The TNFα activates cellular signaling cascades in nearby human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells to fluoresce.  To control the cell signaling, cells were encapsulated within a Matrigel scaffold and seeded in a microfluidic device.  The system was then monitored over 16 hours to evaluate the cellular communication.

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